WilCo to begin $10 million project to expand regional animal shelter

More room for the animalsA close to $10 million expansion project is in the works at the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter, located at 1855 SE Inner Loop, Georgetown.

The no-kill shelter, which has been open since 2007, received funds from four area cities as well as Williamson County.

Cedar Park, Hutto, Leander and Round Rock all budgeted funds for renovation of the animal shelter’s existing building and construction of a new structure.

Cheryl Schneider, director of animal services for the shelter, said the current shelter does not have room for the amount of animals in the county.

“We have animals in every closet,” Schneider said. “We have them in bathrooms, we have changed hallways into animal care areas—just trying to keep up with the intake.”

Schneider said the shelter has been at capacity since it opened, and the growth of the Williamson County area has had an effect on the number of animals coming into the shelter.

“With population growth so goes the growth or the intake of animals. The numbers go up,” Schneider said.

The expansion project has been a three-year-long process up to this point, Schneider said.

Williamson County Commissioner Valerie Covey is a member of the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter board and said the board wants to ensure it is planning for the future.

“The shelter was undersized when it opened,” Covey said. “With the continued growth of Williamson County, it is vital that additional kennel space be made available.”

More than $6 million of the funding will go toward construction of new buildings and space.

The existing 15,000-square-foot shelter holds 85 dog and 93 cat kennels.

Upon completion of the project the new shelter will total more than 36,000 square feet and include space for 170 dog and 186 cat kennels, according to Schneider.

She said renovating the existing structure of the shelter is another key piece of the expansion and will cost a little more than $1 million.

“The building is not functional,” Schneider said. “We don’t have a kitten room to separate kittens from adult [cats] or puppies from adult [dogs]. The dog kennels all need to be renovated. All of that is included in the expansions.”

Schneider said in addition to adding more kennels, the current kennels’ drainage system and air conditioning units need to be addressed as well as the shelter’s surgery center space.

The shelter must remain functioning throughout the process, so the expansion and renovation are being done in two phases, Schneider said.

“We are going to build the new building first and then move the animals over there and then renovate [the existing structure],” Schneider said.

Schneider said the shelter is planning on breaking ground on the project in March, the same month as its 10-year anniversary. Construction could take 18 months.


Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced March 2 that mask mandates and business capacity restrictions will be lifted in Texas. (Courtesy Office of the Texas Governor)
Gov. Greg Abbott lifts statewide mask mandate, business restrictions in Texas

With vaccine distribution increasing, Gov. Greg Abbott said "people and businesses don't need the state telling them how to operate." Some local officials are pushing back, saying the relaxed restrictions are coming too early.

The Candlewood Suites hotel is located at 10811 Pecan Park Blvd. (Courtesy Google Maps)
Williamson County hires San Antonio law firm in Austin hotel for homeless housing

Williamson County has not yet taken any formal legal action.

Here are the latest coronavirus updates from Williamson County. (Community Impact staff)
Williamson County COVID-19 dashboard returns: 1,108 new cases reported between Feb. 13-March 1

Here are the latest coronavirus updates from Williamson County.

The city of Georgetown is offering water bill adjustments due to winter storm leaks. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Georgetown offering water bill adjustments due to winter storm leaks

A form must be filled out and submitted to the city for credits to appear on customer's accounts.

Ice covered utility lines across Austin. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
SHARE YOUR STORY: How did you survive the Texas freeze?

We want to hear how the winter storms affected you.

Williamson County distributors are expected to receive 20,000 COVID-19 vaccines the week of March 1. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
Williamson County distributors to receive 20,000 COVID-19 vaccines week of March 1

This is the largest number of weekly doses distributors in the county has collectively received.

Georgetown ISD offers COVID-19 vaccines for teachers and staff. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Georgetown ISD offers COVID-19 vaccines for teachers, staff

Georgetown ISD, through its partnership with Lone Star Circle of Care, is set to receive 100 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine during the week of March 1, according to Texas Department of State Health Services data.

The city of Georgetown has organized tree limb cleanup services for residents. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Tree limb pickup update, plus more Georgetown winter storm recovery news

Limb pickup is available for those who reside within city limits.

Snow covers I-45 in Houston during a winter storm that hit Texas the night of Feb. 14. (Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)
Legislators probe energy officials over power failures, lack of preparation heading into winter storm

The Texas Legislature held hearings Feb. 25 with energy companies including Oncor Electric Delivery and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas in response to last week’s historic winter storm, which left millions of Texans without electricity for days.

Vida Apartments is coming to Georgetown in 2022. (Courtesy Vida Apartments)
Vida Apartments coming to Georgetown in 2022

The complex will employ contemporary designs for its 124 units.