After a series of devastating events, the much-needed barn at the Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre has received renewed support.
Back in January, a large fire at the Napanee, Ont., wildlife centre burned to the ground, leaving many of the centre’s rescue animals without a shelter.
After the fire, the wildlife centre received a flood of support through donations and volunteer hours, and began construction on a new and improved barn. Sandy Pines receives over 5,000 injured animals a year, and with the financial support they had received, they were looking to expand their services to include an aquatic centre, which will focus on the high number of injured waterfowl they take care of every year.
WATCH: Sandy Pines begins barn rebuild
But issues with the build led the barn’s budget to rise $50,000 beyond the original $200,000 budget.
Also, back in June, contractor Ken Tulloch, a long-time supporter of the wildlife centre, had an accident that made him unable to continue to work on the barn.
Tulloch gave Sandy Pines a break in the cost of the build, so when he was put out of commission the barn work couldn’t continue at a rate fast enough to house the animals for the winter. Many of the animals were being held in the clinic, which was untouched by the fire, or kept outside.
Less than a week ago, the management at Sandy Pines spoke to the media, saying the group wouldn’t be able to finish the barn before winter.
Since those stories were published, over $30 000 was donated to the wildlife centre, and a large contracting company, Graham Construction, has signed on to finish the barn before the winter.
Although Graham Construction is still working out what it will be charging for the work, Leah Birmingham with the Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre says the contractor is trying to keep expenses as low as possible.
“Graham will be providing all of the necessary construction and project management services Sandy Pines requires to get animals in the new barn for the winter,” said Heidi Shacklady, senior project coordinator at Graham Construction.
According to Birmingham, TransCanada Napanee Generating Station has also offered assistance for the build, and Birmingham says that Sandy Pines is still accepting help from contractors as well as donations.