Team rallies for volunteer remodel at Austin Pets Alive! shelter

By: Cheryl Peak
18 April 2017

APA!’s mission: To promote and provide the resources, education and programs needed to eliminate the killing of companion animals.

Melissa Jones, architect from CTA Austin, is a passionate dog lover; her dedication and love for her dog and best friend, Crosby, is pretty evident to all who know her. Jones volunteers at Austin Pets Alive! on the weekend, and during a recent visit, she looked around the adoption office and noticed it desperately needed some work. She asked one of the volunteer coordinators if they would be open to CTA completing a remodel, a potential volunteer event fueled by donations, and they jumped at the opportunity!

Jones then reached out to Jordan Dominguez, an Austin project manager assistant with an extensive background in construction, and together they developed a scope of work, then contacted some vendors for donations. Swinerton Builders donated $500 of materials, Mohawk donated new flooring material, and Commercial Flooring Systems donated wall base and flooring install.

The night before the work was to start, Jones, Dominguez, and mechanical engineer-in-training Hap Pfiel met at Pfeil’s woodshop where they built and sealed the new counters to be installed in the office. Little did they know, the first day of work was actually National Pet Day! Perfect timing, huh?

Work began with the removal of two huge storage benches and their contents, which obstructed circulation in the building. These would be replaced the next day with the new counters for completing paperwork. All the walls, countertops, and glass were cleaned and scrubbed, large holes in walls were patched, and the plywood at each adoption station was removed and infilled with real framing and sheet rock. Rotting wood from base boards was removed, and were replaced with new material the following day. Interior designer Jennifer Moore took on the task of removing old insulation from under the baseboards, which ended in the fragrant find of a mummified rat!

The next day, things really started coming together with new paint throughout — light gray, with a bright blue accent wall — getting rid of the previous yellow and green. Finally, the new counters were installed. Once the CTA Austin team was finished with its part, right on their $500 budget, the new flooring and wall base were installed, and the place looks nearly new again! It not only looks and smells better, but has become a more functional and happy space. It now reflects a cheerful environment for dogs finding their forever homes.

The full list of volunteers included: Melissa Jones, Jordan Dominguez, Hap Pfiel, Joshua McCalip, Brandon Besser, Jennifer Moore, Jennifer Werland, Rachelle Simon, Daniel Bachelier, Alex Bingham, Jessica Kwiatkowski, Cody Powell, Kaare Sola, Joey Johnsen, Sarah Holnbeck, and Cheryl Peak.

Check out the feature on Melissa Jones and this project in Austin Pets Alive!’s April Volunteer Spotlight.

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