Thompson will pay for the renovation as part of the winnings from a shelter makeover competition the Humane Society won from Zootoo.com earlier this year.
It is unclear to the Humane Society’s board of directors why Thompson rejected the first plan, submitted by architect Nick Peckham of Peckham and Wright Architects, Inc.
Peckham drew up and submitted a new plan to Thompson, which he preliminarily approved. The designs have not been made public.
Many board members expressed frustration at Thompson’s rejection of the original plan at their meeting Tuesday.
The board said it will contact Thompson for an explanation of the rejection. Board members said they would like Thompson to travel to Columbia from his office in New Jersey to discuss his decision in person.
"We need to be a bit more aggressive," Jim Loveless, a board member, said. The board expressed concern that the new plan will not meet the needs of the shelter.
Loveless said the new plan is inferior. He said he did not want to accept the new design without an explanation from Thompson of his reasoning for rejecting the original.
While board member John Shrum said the new plan accomplishes 70 to 80 percent of the original plan, Loveless disagreed, saying it was "butchered."
Other things the board discussed were:
- The board is also working on an agreement with Columbia's Animal
Control to gain extra funding. The city has allocated $111,606 to the Humane Society as part of an annual contract. That number is similar to funding in years past. The Columbia City Council has set aside $20,000 more for the Humane Society, but the society hasn't received it.
Loveless said the board will
most likely propose that the extra money go to animal welfare, including funding mandatory vaccines against distemper and parvovirus, providing an additional 100 spay/neuter vouchers to
the city to bring the total to 250, and conducting animal licensing.
- The board also discussed a standard uniform for shelter staff, as well as name tags for staff members and volunteers.
- Shelter staff presented to the board about a new volunteer "lobby liaison" position, which they said will give them more time to perform other duties. "Lobby liaisons" would file lost and found reports, help with animal intake and conduct vaccinations. Staff members said that other volunteers will be allowed to take on more tasks and responsibilities, such as animal introductions in which prospective adopters meet their potential new pet.