It’s almost difficult to remember when there wasn’t construction work happening at the Dumb Friends League. You have to go back to April 2017 when the Building a Better Way Home project broke ground, and our major renovation and construction project to upgrade the oldest and most heavily used parts of the Dumb Friends League Leslie A. Malone Center began. Now, the finish line is in sight.

Like most of the world adjusting due to COVID-19, construction at the League has not stopped because that work is considered essential, it did, however, cause crews to adjust their work habits. Safety guidelines, temperature checks, a single point of entry, mandatory masks, hand washing stations and social distancing when possible were all things workers had to adapt to as part of their days.

Since the last construction update, the new Veterinary Services and Return for Treatment areas on the main level and the lower level break room, bathrooms, lockers and shower facilities have been completed (although we are still patiently awaiting the green light to put the latter into use). And, for our pups, five new dog runs are available for playtime, fun and exercise!

The week of January 25 will see a significant milestone—the completion of phase 5 of the project, which constitutes the original scope. Our Behavior and Foster teams will move into their new spaces, and we will close the kennel doors . . . err . . . books on this remarkable accomplishment!

League leadership expanded the Building a Better Way Home project’s original scope to include an Education Hall. This space includes three areas that can be combined into one large conference and community classroom to accommodate up to 300 people and two offices. A wall of glass garage doors will open to a large patio, and there will also be a new entrance and a full catering kitchen. Crews cleared out the existing West Ed, current Lulu’s conference room and the Humane Education team’s offices to accommodate and expand on this area of the League. The new Education Hall’s estimated completion date is early April.

Before we know it, the Building a Better Way Home project will be finished, and our community and animals who need us most will have a fully-completed state-of-the-art facility. Everyone at the League is excited to do even more good for those in need!