Bentonville animal shelter; choosing an architect firm


UPDATE: Bentonville is another step closer to opening its “pet resource center”.

Bentonville Parks and Recreation Director David Wright said an internal committee received several bids from architectural firms and have narrowed the bids to two firms.

Wright said those on the committee are reviewing the firms’ references.

He said committee representatives hope to have a recommendation in front of the Bentonville City Council at the Dec. 10 meeting.

ORIGINAL STORY: BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) — Here is what Bentonville knows about the plan for an animal shelter:

  • It’ll be branded as a “pet resource center”
  • It’ll be a stand-alone department that will report to the Parks and Recreation director

Here is what Bentonville does not know about the plan:

  • No budget, yet.
  • No location, yet.

About the budget, Parks and Recreation Director David Wright said, “when we hire the architect, we’ll do public input and gage that input. At that time we will also look at the cost.”

About the location, Wright said, “we don’t know if we need an 8,000 or a 12,000 square-foot building. Is there land the city already owns where this can be built or do we need to search for an appropriate location?”

The goal is for the “pet resource center” to be its own department and its own brand. The project will be led by the Mayor and Wright will help in getting the project created. “We are launching a new department to manage this facility,” said Wright. “This department would report to me, but it is a stand-alone department within the city’s umbrella.”

The city advertised for architect firms to submit applications (statements of qualification) which were due Friday, November 8. Tuesday, November 12, is the application review process.

An internal committee has met to review the nearly dozen applications received from professional design firms. “We will decide on an agency and base the decision solely on ‘qualifications.’ Once that is done we’ll ask for the group’s proposal which includes a price,” said Wright.

When the staff is comfortable with a contract it will then be taken to the city council for approval, according to Wright.

Metaphorically speaking Wright said, “we are on step two of a five-step process before we make a decision on hiring an architect.”

The city’s vision is to enhance the pet experience for dogs and cats, “what we don’t want is to build a cinder-block dog pound,” said Wright.

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