Site preparation work began last week and a ground-breaking ceremony will be held soon for June’s Pet Haven and Bark Park, a $3 million animal shelter to serve the lost, stray and abandoned pets of Dickson County. Plans for the new facility and a $1.75 million matching grant were announced in September by the Speyer family that owns Tennsco, which also donated the property. After an extensive review of the original plans by the Humane Society of Dickson County’s Building Committee, the board of directors announced it has managed to cut costs by $60,000 in phase one alone. At the board’s June 17 meeting, Rachel Bradley, chair for the capital campaign, announced the awarding of the contract for the first phase. “We have certified the bids for phase one. Developers Excavation, LLC of Dickson, Tn., was the winning bidder. They will be ready to begin ground work within a few weeks,” said Bradley, who is a member of the Speyer family and vice president of marketing at Tennsco. According to a press release from the Humane Society, equipment began moving onto the site at the corner of Marshall Stuart and Tennsco drives last week with a ground-breaking to be announced soon. After the initial announcement in September, Building Committee members Bob Deal, Rydell Wesson, Carrie Parker Peery and Bradley began reviewing the plans. With a desire to begin helping pets in need as soon as possible, the committee mapped out three phases of development. Phase one includes clearing the land and development of the bark park, which includes a children’s playground, open area for dogs, a picnic area and walking trails that will be pet- and human-friendly. Phase two will consist of the dog kennels, runs and a temporary building housing the cattery and administrative offices. Phase three finalizes June’s Pet Haven and Bark Park with the permanent building tying all of the components together. Through initial donations, an end-of-the-year match campaign by TriStar Bank and other activities, the Humane Society has raised nearly $300,000 for phase one. To maximize these dollars, the Building Committee conducted an in-depth review of its original plans and architectural drawings with the assistance of Kerry Pruett of C.K. Pruett Construction and Trent Smith of Southern Consulting and last week announced they have found tremendous savings in phase one and the remaining two phases. “For many of us, we have dreamed of this type of facility for over 25 years. The lost, abandoned and stray pets of our county are in desperate need,” said Peery. “We are going to make the dream of protecting them in a real facility thanks to the committee’s efforts and the continued generosity of our donors.” Phase one will consist of site grading, utility installation, storm water drainage installation, erosion control and base stone placement. Also, there are final decisions being made on the Bark Park and Playground. Interior designer Crysta A. Parrish has made suggestions on the look and feel of the equipment and layout. The walking trail will be developed as soon as the site grading is completed. A ground-breaking ceremony will be held in the coming weeks. For more information on the project or to donate toward phase two, call 615-878-9736 or visit junespethaven.org.