The barn renovation at Warrior Canine Connection (WCC) is officially underway! It’s a big deal for all of us at WCC and a major milestone. Yep, we hit a few bumps along the way, thanks to the pandemic and some budget hurdles, but good things take time, right?
WCC felt strongly about renovating the 1938 barn on the property instead of demolishing it and rebuilding due to the rich history it had in serving Veterans. The barn was initially designed by the University of Maryland and built as a dairy barn to provide milk for the troops in the National Capitol Region. Nearly 100 years later—the barn will be poised to serve a different, but equally important role in supporting our Nation’s Veterans.
First things first: Phase one is a wrap! We had to do some serious structural TLC to keep the integrity of our beloved barn intact. That came with a price tag of more than $750k and included shoring up beams, installing new posts and installing a new well.
Now, it’s all about phase two — converting the barn into a space that’s not just pretty but practical, too. Currently underway, the floor is being torn up where the elevator will be installed, followed by masonry work inside the elevator shaft walls.
But that’s not all … the new barn will also feature a brand-new addition, which will be a 28’ x 115’ kennel area. That’s 14 new indoor kennels with all the creature comforts, from heating to air conditioning. Grooming area? Check. Canine care staff workstation? Double-check.
None of this would have been possible without countless generous donors and Davis Construction, which has helped with every phase of this project from planning to execution.
“I am over the moon about finally getting the construction started,” said WCC Director of Facilities Kim Vaughan, who is overseeing the project. “Davis Construction has been an incredible partner, supporting us through the ups and downs, offering ideas, and generously contributing by doing the job at their cost.”
When completed, the first floor of the barn will house office space for trainers, restrooms, large service dog training area, food prep area, laundry nook, and veterinary office. The upper floor will have administrative offices and meeting space. Despite snow on the ground, the old metal roof is currently being replaced with new plywood and roof paper, topped with a fresh, green sheet metal roof to make it cohesive with the rest of the property.
The project was able to move from the drawing board to construction thanks to hundreds of gifts from individuals and generous leadership gifts from Dan and Gayle D’Aniello, the State of Maryland, Julie Walters, a private family foundation, Montgomery County, Associated General Contractors of America, and John and Marcia Shooshan, among many others.
Timeline for completion? September 2024. This massive project is our way of stepping up to ensure WCC can provide the support Veterans deserve and meet the growing demand for its programs and services. And hey, if you want to be part of this epic transformation, check out how you can pitch in here.
To watch the progress in action, check out the WCC construction page here.
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