NAIOP-MD members Merritt Construction Services and CB Flooring made a “fur-ever” impact on the Maryland Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) facility in Hampden, with the recent completion of collaborated pet project that benefitted lives of both the two and four-legged variety.

The effort represented the first phase of a planned five phase construction project currently being undertaken by the SPCA entailing an ambitious enlargement and renovation of the mansion and farmhouse that the non-profit organization has occupied since 1872.

Merritt Construction initially focused on making the mansion ADA accessible including widening the doorways to accommodate wheelchairs, adding ramps, installing new parking and expanding the original three-story building by approximately 2,000 square feet of space.

A significant consideration, according to Merritt Construction Project Manager Patrick Huhra, was maintaining a historical feel to the building with the selection of proper woods, paints and fixtures that paid homage and gave a nod to its storied past in the Jones Falls Valley.

“The nearly 150-year-old mansion was in serious need of a functional upgrade, but SPCA was extremely sensitive to maintaining the old energy of the building throughout the design and construction process,” Huhra said.

The flooring selection was also a major consideration given the varied needs of the two-legged and four-legged inhabitants.

“We strived to honor the buildings historic appearance while also providing finishes that were functional and created a unique, pet friendly, office experience,” said Andrew Brazis, Project Manager for CB Flooring. “The main flooring specification has an old school look with new school vinyl technology to provide a hygienic and durable finish. It was made clear by the SPCA that we needed to accommodate high traffic usage from the nearly 20 employees in the facility and be mindful that not every visitor walking through the door was going to be 100 percent house trained.”

Merritt and CB worked directly with the SPCA in selecting the Karndean Reclaimed Heart Pine Vinyl Plank Flooring that resembled the original hardwood from 1872. The bathroom mosaic tile was designed to mimic shapes seen in a Kaleidoscope, which added a modern touch.     

“Flooring can be a major design aspect of a project, so we wanted to go the extra mile to find exceptional flooring and tile that would look great and hold up for many years to come,” Brazis added. “Rescued and surrendered pets have it hard enough, and this was a special project to be a part of.”

“Maryland SPCA emphasized the need for a homey and comfortable environment that did not look or act like a traditional office,” Huhra added. “Every choice of materials needed to remind people about the historic nature of the campus while also being energy-efficient and attractive.”

“This 19th century home, known as Evergreen on the Falls, has been our administrative headquarters for 93 years,” explained James Peirce, Executive Director of the Maryland SPCA. “The renovation was long overdue, with a crumbling foundation and outdated infrastructure.  Merritt Construction has been remarkable, staying true to the period style while bringing the building into the 21st century. Now our staff can continue their incredible work in a safe, productive, pleasant environment. We’ve set the stage to grow the Maryland SPCA and help more pets and people.”