Sarasota's Cat Depot Climbs Higher With A Light Carbon Pawprint

Sarasota's Cat Depot is adding a second floor to its sustainably built facility at 2542 17th St. The 700-foot vertical expansion will facilitate the depot's community outreach and education programs and will adhere to the same green standards as the existing structure.

"This is a dearly needed component for Cat Depot," says Executive Director Shelley Thayer. "We currently hold education and training classes for the public in our hallways and small conference room. This addition will allow us to broaden our teaching arena and reach out to a greater number of children and adults."

Sarasota architect Barron Schimberg designed the expansion and Beyond Design Contracting is building it. The new space will feature a drop-down media screen, kitchenette and bathroom and will accommodate more than 40 people. It will host classes addressing such issues as feline nutrition, behavioral training, grooming and safe human-animal interaction.

Schimberg is responsible for the depot's major redesign last year, transforming a warehouse-like structure into a 10,000-square-foot facility that not only caters to feline guests, but is built to be environmentally safe. Cats roam free in 10-by-15-foot pods and enclosed porches. Green features include translucent panels that allow natural light to flow into the building, low VOC paints, a reflective roof and an efficient HVAC system.

The Cat Depot is a nonprofit no-kill adoption center committed to the rescue, health and well-being of abandoned, abused and injured cats and kittens. According to its website, the center assists citizens in trapping and neutering stray and feral cats and provides resources to pet owners who need assistance caring for their feline family members. The depot also socializes feral kittens so they can be domesticated.

The expansion project is due to be completed by Fall 2010.

Writer: Missy Kavanaugh
Source: Shelley Thayer, Cat Depot

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