The Waco Animal Shelter is gearing up for nearly $900,000 in upgrades, including replacing a six-year-old air conditioning system.
The Waco City Council voted Tuesday to award a $603,991 contract for a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system with two 30-ton units in the shelter’s kennel. Shelter officials said existing units had repeatedly malfunctioned and were difficult to maintain. Temporary rental units have been in service since last summer.
“The new HVAC units will improve our level of care for the animals housed at the shelter,” said city animal services director Trey Buzbee.
The original units of the 7,100 square foot air-conditioned kennel were part of a $3.5 million reconstruction the city completed in October 2016.
Repairs and new parts were needed to keep older units working, and even then they are struggling.
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“Original HVAC units experienced control system compatibility issues and subsequent failures with custom equipment,” Buzbee said.
The availability of critical custom parts is also a concern, threatening the possibility of future repairs.
Reference documents for the city’s resolution indicate that the units suffered several malfunctions of the control board, motor and drive last summer, and that the city used parts from a unit to restore the other running. The shelter used temporary rental housing to make up for the loss.
The city had to bring in a second temporary unit when a lack of parts prevented the remaining unit from providing heat.
The city hired Tradesman Services Ltd., the lowest of three bidders, for the work at $549,083, with contingency funds bringing the total to $603,991.
The necessary equipment has a lead time of 30 weeks, setting the start of the project for March, when the parts should be delivered. Construction is expected to take 60 days and be completed in June.
The new units, each with a cooling capacity of 30 tons, will be connected to a centralized network, Buzbee said.
“We plan to connect the new HVAC unit controls to the city-wide centralized building automation and control network system that is currently in the planning and deployment phase, which will allow us to monitor the units 24 hours a day,” Buzbee said.
Further work is underway for the animal shelter. The city council voted earlier this month to award a $283,520 contract to Majestic Services Inc. for courtyard pavilion updates and new sod. A shade structure collapsed during a winter storm in February 2021, and the collapse also damaged the turf and footings of the structure.
The new shade structure should relieve the dogs in the shelter. The city’s resolution says turf temperatures can reach over 150 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer.