FARMINGTON — Farmington's City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to begin negotiations with BDA Architecture, of Albuquerque, for architectural services for the new animal shelter.

Six of the original eight interested firms gave presentations to city staff in March, and BDA Architecture was ranked at the top.

"We will send a letter to them most likely today to start getting their pricing together," purchasing officer Edward Smylie told the Council.

According to Assistant City Manager Bob Campbell, BDA has specialized in building animal care facilities for the last 20 years.

"They have built veterinary clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters," Campbell said. "Based on their presentation, they have done over 600 animal care facilities. What's interesting is that they try to keep animal shelters down to just four a year because they involve a public process and are time consuming."

BDA won't be the first architectural firm to work on the project. The city already has extensive plans that show what both city officials and the public are interested in seeing constructed.

"They will be given those plans as reference so they'll have a good conceptual idea of what we want," Campbell said.

Campbell expects the negotiation phase to take about three weeks, at which point the firm will have 120 days to produce construction documents.

Part of that four-month period involves time for public input.

"Part of the negotiation process is identifying how many public meetings we want to have," Campbell said.


"We expect to have a number of them over the time period to get a lot of public input."

Councilor Mary Fischer feels public input is necessary.

"Public input is a key component for building a successful shelter," she said. "I would like to see if we couldn't speak to our artist community to see if they would be interested in some kind of contest to get more amenities in than just a functional building. The more consumer friendly, the better chance we have for increasing our adoption rate and decreasing our euthanizations."

Once the architectural plans are finished, BDA will assist the city in the bidding process to find a contractor, Campbell said.

"They will likely also have some construction management responsibilities throughout the construction process," he said