Kennel repairs may get firms out of ‘doghouse’

Repairs to the kennel areas of the Mesa County Animal Services facility — built in 2010 on shifting soils in the Whitewater area at a cost of more than $3 million — are expected to begin later this month after county commissioners recently approved a contract for the work.

The county filed suit last year against the primary contractor on the project, Denver-based CMC Group, and against local geotechnical contractor Huddleston-Berry and architectural and engineering subcontractor Zeiler-Pennock Inc. of Denver. The county claims negligence and breach of contract.

The more than $131,000 contract with Williams Industrial Coating of Grand Junction for repairs will entail removal and replacement of the existing epoxy flooring in order to correct drainages in the kennel areas. The facility was designed with three separate kennel rooms with individual holding areas featuring sloping floors, in theory to assist with staff cleaning and waste removal.

The facility was built atop expansive shale, which has proved problematic with multiple structural failures reported as soon as four months after the building opened. Heaving concrete, cracks in walls and shifting floors are evident throughout the building.

Animal Services also is preparing for an inspection by the state Department of Agriculture, which will likely happen later this month.

Animal Services Director Penny McCarty said her department has been in communication with the state about its problems, and it’s hoping for some advice about specific repairs.

“They know that we are in the process of getting what we think are violations, or what we think could be potential violations, repaired so they’re not an issue,” McCarty said.

Staff also are busy preparing for the repair process, which will be tricky logistics-wise, as they hope to maintain their services while repairs are ongoing.

“Right now what we’re doing is preparing outside spaces. We have to clear out a particular kennel room for them to work in, so we’re getting some extra outside areas so we can temporarily put the animals outside,” McCarty said. “As with most of our kennels, they’ll have a mister system and covers, and they’ll have their doghouses.”

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