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Crews work on the Linda McNatt Animal Care and Adoption Center near North Lakes Park on Thursday in Denton.

Walls going up at Linda McNatt Animal Care and Adoption Center

Walls are going up at the Linda McNatt Animal Care and Adoption Center near North Lakes Park, bringing the target date to open the city’s new shelter into sharper focus.

Denton Police Capt. Scott Fletcher, who oversees operations at the animal shelter, said that the frequent cold spells, snow and ice storms this winter slowed construction, particularly pouring concrete, which had to be scheduled on warmer days. There had been hope by the city and the construction company to open the shelter by April, but that is no longer the case.

“We’re looking to open in July,” Fletcher said.

Once construction is finished, it won’t take long for the crew to move from the current shelter on Woodrow Lane, he said.

Most everything they need is either being built or brought in new, he said.

“We’re moving not much more than paperwork,” he said. “And the animals will come with us.”

The project is the result of a public-private partnership between the Denton Animal Shelter Foundation and the city. The foundation raised about $1.5 million in cash to help pay for the building, which is estimated to cost about $7 million.

The financial help included a $500,000 gift from Jim McNatt, former auto dealership owner, to name the shelter for his wife, Linda McNatt. The foundation also raised another $500,000 as in-kind donations, including furniture, fixtures and other items the shelter needs.

The shelter’s total cost includes the $980,265 that the city allotted in 2008 to acquire the land near the park. The city hired an architect for the project in January 2012 and put construction documents out for bid last summer.

Representatives at the foundation were briefed last month and learned that city and construction crews were working towards the July opening date. Foundation board member Bette Sherman said she is helping with the many donor acknowledgements that will be installed in the building, including engraved granite benches, bricks, granite pavers, bronze and room plaques and a wall of honor.

“I’m trying to be sure to have everything ready for delivery and installation before the shelter opens,” Sherman said.

PEGGY HEINKEL-WOLFE can be reached at 940-566-6881 and via Twitter at @phwolfeDRC.

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