New Digs and Renovations
“It was 1970 in here before,” says Cheryl Bernard Smith, director of operations at the Maryland SPCA in Baltimore, describing how her facility looked prior to a $2.1 million renovation completed in March 2011. Visitors to the shelter entered via a double-wide trailer attached to the building, which served as both the admissions and adoption department. “Before, adoptions were happening right next to the counter where admissions were happening, so it was like, ‘Oh, hey, I was adopting this dog, but are you bringing [in] that one, because I’d like to adopt that one.’ It was just crazy.” The renovation—done by a design/build team of Penza Bailey Architects of Baltimore and Constantine Commercial Construction in Timonium, Md.—changed how the shelter looks and how it’s able to operate. The trailer was replaced with separate adoption and admission areas enlivened by bright colors and plastic laminate; separate exam rooms for cats and dogs; and a space used for behavior assessment and classes, adding about 6,000 square feet to the shelter. Cat colony housing replaced cages, and the kennel area was upgraded with an epoxy floor, glass-front runs, and sound-absorbing panels to reduce noise.