Ozaukee Humane Society upgrades goal to make animal shelter environmental showcase
Plans for the construction of the Ozaukee Humane Society’s $6 million animal shelter on Saukville’s west side have generated a lot of local enthusiasm, but organizers are hoping to amp up that reaction to new heights.
Humane Society officials have announced a push to raise an additional $250,000 to make the building an environmental showplace.
Humane Society Executive Director Anne Reed said the group has set the goal to make enough state-of-the-art improvements to the 21,000-square-foot building to obtain Gold LEED certification.
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System is a nationally recognized program which sets benchmarks for the design, construction and operation of high-performance, environmentally sensitive buildings.
As currently designed, the Saukville shelter will qualify for Silver LEED certification. With a few additional tweaks, officials said the building could qualify for Gold status, representing an advance level of environmental practices.
“We are hoping for 250 people or businesses in the community to each contribute $1,000 to help us get closer to Gold LEED status,” Reed said in announcing the latest fund-raising push.
“The LEED Gold rating reflects a higher standard of commitment to sustainable design than with typical construction,” said Allen Washatko of Kubala Washatko Architects, the Cedarburg firm that designed the shelter.
“Our goal is to help the Humane Society create a highly energy efficient, more environmentally responsible facility that reduces long-term energy and water use costs for the organization,” Washatko said.
Officials have identified a dozen additional steps that would elevate the building project to LEED Gold status.
Among those steps are the use of water-efficient landscaping, reduction of light pollution, use of recycled building materials, use of light-reflecting roofing materials to avoid creating a “heat island,” installation of additional measures to protect adjacent
wetlands and incorporating an educational component to inform the public about LEED building features.
Angela Speed, the Humane Society’s director of development and community relations, termed the push for the upgraded environmental feature “Going for the Gold.”
“We have raised the majority of the funds for the new building, but the Going for the Gold campaign will allow us to implement more green features that will help ensure the sustainability of the building,” Speed said.
“As leaders of our community who advocate for treating animals with respect and kindness, it is also integral to our mission to be good stewards of our environment. Achieving Gold certification is not just symbolic, it is reflective of our goal to limit the footprint we have on the earth.”
Even without the Gold certification, officials have said the facility will be the first LEED-certified shelter in the Midwest, and one of only a few in the country.
Construction of the shelter has been funded solely by fund-raising efforts, with the most noteworthy contribution being the $1 million gift from Town of Saukville residents John and Elizabeth Feith.
A wing of the new shelter will be named for Elizabeth Feith.
When the Feith donation was announced earlier this year, Humane Society officials said virtually all the funding needed for the new shelter had been raised.
Reed said the additional plea for donations gives area residents another opportunity to have a role in the construction of the regional facility.
“There are many individuals whom we know just haven’t yet made their donation, and this is a great time to contribute,” she said. “There are still permanent naming opportunities available to recognize donors.”
The new shelter is being erected at the northwest corner of Highway 33 and Dekora Woods Boulevard.
It will be known as the Ozaukee Humane Society Victoria Wellens Center, in honor of the group’s late executive director who spearheaded the push for a local building more than two years ago. Wellens led the program for 15 years.
The new building will replace the Humane Society’s cramped current quarters in the Town of Grafton. The makeshift shelter was originally a concession stand for the 57 Outdoor theater.
The shelter will have segregated, cage-free adoption areas for cats and dogs, a veterinary clinic to care for animals that are brought in and classroom space to be used by visiting school groups.
Officials report that the building project is on schedule to open in March 2011.
CONSTRUCTION IS ADVANCING on schedule at the Ozaukee Humane Society’s Victoria Wellens Center on Saukville’s west side. A new initiative is looking to find funding to make the animal shelter eligible for LEED Gold status. Officials expect the $6 million shelter will open in March 2011.