BARL starts construction of long-awaited facility

Published 6:00 am Thursday, March 11, 2004

Students of Copiah-Lincoln Community College’s ConstructionEquipment Operation class are helping the Brookhaven Animal RescueLeague get started on its new facility.

“This is part of our training,” said Joey Chassion, who teachesthe class. “We try to do work for non-profit organizations to givethe students some hands-on experience with the equipment.”

Approximately 10 students of the class were on-site Tuesday tobegin clearing and preparing the site of a new BARL facility behindGove Thermometer.

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The students worked from 8:30 a.m. to around 3:30 p.m. to clearthe site, but Chassion said they would have to come back anotherday to complete the work.

“Right now it’s so wet we can’t do much in there,” he said,pointing to tracks made by the backhoe that were already fillingwith water. “That’s ground water seeping in. It’s just too wet inthere. Hopefully, now that we have the trees are down and theweather has turned warmer, it’ll dry out fairly quickly.”

Chassion said their agreement with BARL was to clear the siteand prepare it for the foundation, but that they “may help them gettheir pad in.”

It would depend most on timing, he said. The class is taughtthree semesters a year at Co-Lin. If the students are capable whenit becomes time to lay the pad and the class has the time, Chassionsaid they would probably assist.

Beth Adcock, a member of BARL’s executive committee, said thenew facility would have to be built in stages because offunding.

“Right now, we only have enough in our budget to get the dirtwork done and get the foundation laid,” she said. “We hope to havethe foundation done by early to mid-summer.”

BARL is using an architectural design provided by the HumaneSociety of the United States for use by organizations nationwide,she said. The new facility will encompass 2,700 square feet andinclude dog runs, a puppy room, a cat room, and an office.

“We should be able to hold about 40 dogs and 10 puppies. In ourcat room we should be able to hold anywhere from 12 to 20 cats,depending on their size,” she said.

The cat room will allow BARL to save money in their generalfund, she said. The organization is presently having to house catsat the local veterinarians’ offices and pay boarding fees.

The time is past due for BARL to have its own facility, shesaid. The organization has been using land offered for its use byGove Thermometer. The property is fenced into a hallway and pens,but not roofed or floored.

“We’re trying to get out of that facility altogether and into amore sanitary area,” Adcock said. “That property is worn out fromconstant use.”

Gove Thermometer also donated the land where the new facilitywill be constructed.

Adcock said plans are for the new facility to be manned byvolunteers at least a few hours a day with volunteers available tomeet by appointment outside the regular hours.

The total cost of the new facility has been estimated around$150,000.

“We have big dreams. We just need to get the money to get itgoing,” she said. “That’s why it will be built in stages. We’re soexcited. This is such a need for the animals of this county.”

BARL is seeking donations to help meet those building costs, shesaid. Interested donors can contact her at 833-2060 or call theBARL office at 757-4367. Checks should be made to the BARL BuildingFund, or donations may be made to the general fund.