The Animal Welfare League of Trumbull County broke ground on a new facility Monday.
The $4.5 million project is being constructed at the site of the former ThunderPlex at 812 Youngstown-Kingsville Road in Vienna. A total renovation is planned for the 41,000-square foot building.
“This building was just a shell. We met with our architect and we could do whatever we wanted,” said fundraising campaign co-chair Karyn Covelli. “This building was a perfect location because we didn’t have to remove any structures; we basically built underneath the ceiling.”
Much of the groundwork for the renovations began in January, now electric work, plumbing and finishing touches are being put on the facility.
Animal Welfare League board member Dr. Jeff Williams said the new facility will be more than just an animal shelter. The Animal Welfare League has partnered with Kent State University and students in the Veterinarian Tech program will use the complex for hands-on training as part of the two-year certification program.
The space will be used for all aspects of animal care and boarding, as well as space set aside for a retail shop, educational area, maternity ward and animal training services.
Williams said a public dog park also will be constructed at the new location and will be included in the Trumbull County MetroParks. A meeting room with a kitchen also will be available for community and private events.
“It’s a dream that’s come true. It’s going to be more than just an animal shelter,” said volunteer Brent Mager. “It’s all being done with donations and it’s going to be a vast community effort.”
Construction should be complete sometime in August.