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By Casey Christie / The Californian
BY JAMES BURGER Californian staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
Kern County Animal Control will move into its new digs over the weekend.
But the digging -- and the concrete pours, kennel placements, major renovations and other work -- at the shelter site will continue for at least a month.
County contractors, tradesmen and information technology staff were working feverishly Friday to get the leased Fruitvale Avenue property into a condition to support the animals and animal control staff that will begin moving there on Sunday, said Jeff Frapwell, assistant county administrative officer for general services.
But only one of the three buildings on the site will be operational this weekend: the 12,240-square-foot main building at 3951 Fruitvale Ave., he said.
That building will house the front office and public area for the shelter, adoption kennels and the animal intake area.
Kern County Animal Control spokeswoman Maggie Kalar said moveable inanimate objects would be transfered from South Mount Vernon on Saturday. Animals will all be moved on Sunday.
The site's capacity to hold animals will be gradually phased in over the next few weeks.
A total of 78 new kennels have been delivered so far. They will be supplemented by portable kennels the county already has on hand at the current shelter on Mount Vernon Avenue, Frapwell said.
Frapwell said many of the new kennels have been installed and workers are moving quickly to get the rest in.
More kennels -- 29 of them -- will be delivered on Wednesday. Another 40 kennels will be delivered the week after that.
"We are getting them in batches as quickly as the manufacturer can build them," Frapwell said.
A big part of what the county contractor has been doing is constructing electrical and solid waste disposal systems capable of handling the demands of hundreds of animals at one time.
That work will continue, after the shelter opens, on the 6,670-square-foot "B" building in the center of the triangular site, Frapwell said.
That building will primarily hold kennels for stray animals waiting to be picked up by owners.
It won't be ready to use until Oct. 15, Frapwell said.
The third building, the 2,400-square-foot "C" building in the far west corner of the site, will house the shelter's medical operations and won't be operational until the end of October.
It's likely that final finish work on the property will drag on into November, Frapwell said.
"We'll get to the 80 percent-done point by the end of October," he said. "I'm hoping to have the grass and the dog runs in by the end of October, but it might bleed over into the next month."