27th June 2012 - It's All Go for SPCA at Fever Hospital!
Wellington SPCA is pleased to report that on Wednesday 27th June 2012, Wellington City Council officially said ‘YES’ to Wellington SPCA’s move to Fever Hospital.
At the meeting to vote through the Council’s Long Term Plan, Councillor Iona Pannett described the SPCA submission on the move to the Fever Hospital as "fantastic" and something Wellingtonians should all be very proud of - a view strongly supported by the Mayor and other Councillors.
Wellington SPCA CEO Iain Torrance says that after many years of trying to achieve this result, it’s hard to believe that the Society has finally reached this stage.
“It’s incredible to be at the stage now where Wellington SPCA at Fever Hospital is a reality and no longer a dream.”
To summarise the Council decision; Wellington City Council will spend about $900,000 on earthquake strengthening and structural renovation work on the historic Fever Hospital site, with Wellington SPCA contributing $470,000 dollars to their work.
This work will begin in July and be expected to finish by March 2013. Following this Wellington SPCA will begin their own renovation work, with an eye to moving from our current Newtown Centre to the new building by late 2013.
Wellington SPCA will then occupy the site as tenants, with Wellington City Council as the landlord. In exchange for our contribution towards the Councils renovation / earthquake strengthening work, Wellington SPCA receives a rent holiday for the first 12 years of our 60 year lease.
Iain says that the next steps for Wellington SPCA are to update the Council lease agreement to align the terms of the new proposal.
“The Society will also finalise the ‘Rehome SPCA’ program, focusing on the Conceptualisation, Construction and Transition phases of the project. A major part of this undertaking will be to work with the SPCA staff and public on re-confirming the requirements for Wellington SPCA in the Fever Hospital – focusing on incoming animal flows and procedures.”
Capital funding will also be a major focus for Wellington SPCA over the next few months. The cost to renovate Fever Hospital into a purpose-built animal shelter will be around $4 million in total. Wellington SPCA will be seeking to engage with the local community and business sector for support, as well as reaching out to across the country and even internationally. Securing partnerships with like-minded organisations play a key role in this.
Iain says that he cannot overstate how much of a success this decision by Wellington City Council is.
“Thank you to everyone, our staff, volunteers and Board, who have contributed to making this happen, proving wrong those who said this project was going nowhere. From all of you who signed the petition and rallied at civic square, to those of who lobbied Councillors on our behalf - you all helped make this happen.
Our community supported us when we asked for their help, showing the respect they have for what we do and the belief they have in our organisation. It is this support I know we can count on to ensure we are in the Fever Hospital by Christmas next year.”
Wellington SPCA will keep the community fully informed of the project’s progress as they move through each of the stages, via both local media and the website www.rehomespca.org.nz