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City Hires Firm to Design Expanded Animal Shelter; Seeks Stakeholder Input

This article was archived on 10/3/2020

Mayor G.T. Bynum has signed a contract with Tulsa-based GH2 Architects to design a new, expanded animal shelter for the City of Tulsa. The $4.7M shelter expansion project was approved by voters in both Improve Our Tulsa programs.

“We are committed to improving conditions for animals in our community and to addressing the staggering challenges of pet overpopulation. Our facilities are fundamental to that commitment, and this work is long overdue,” Mayor Bynum said. 

The City plans to expand the footprint of the facility at 3031 North Erie Avenue to include City-owned land to the south, incorporating an expanded and welcoming lobby, a separate adoption center and customer parking, as well as green space for dog walking trails along Coal Creek. The firm will also be evaluating opportunities to make the entire facility more customer friendly and inviting, with relatively modest investments in signage and public art.

As part of its successful managed competition proposal for animal shelter operations, shelter staff presented an approach to address capacity needs in an expansion, such as an adoption center and space for volunteers, which would allow the existing facility to be rehabilitated and focused on field intake, new kennels, and the clinic.

Expansion of the Animal Welfare Center is part of a broader initiative to improve animal welfare outcomes in Tulsa. In 2018, the Mayor and the City Council committed to an aggressive program of investment and improvement, which has included:

As part of the design process, the City seeks citizen and stakeholder input, as well as outstanding examples of animal welfare center design elements from other communities. Please send feedback to

The concept design process is expected to continue into the fall, with architectural design and engineering to follow, and then construction.

GH2 has extensive experience designing innovative, sustainable and cost-effective animal welfare and veterinary facilities. They understand the unique design challenges presented by issues such as cross-contamination, ventilation, sanitation, material selections, traffic flow, and staff and patient safety. They recognize that client experience, function, flow, and efficient layout are critical components to the success of animal welfare facilities.

Their recent design of the Pampa, TX, Animal Welfare facility includes volunteer and community outreach program spaces, such as a multi-purpose community room and adoption center with both indoor and outdoor get-acquainted areas, as well as a large dog park. Other relevant project experience includes:

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