CHEROKEE COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) — After years of discussion, Cherokee County will soon have a new animal shelter.

“We’re looking forward to it,” said County Administrator Steve Bratton. “We’re excited.”

At this week’s meeting, county council awarded a $4.6 million bid to Sossamon Construction for its new animal shelter. It will be a 14,000 square foot facility located on Cherokee Avenue near the old Alma Elementary School.

“The City of Gaffney currently owns the animal shelter that we operate and it’s served its useful life,” said Bratton.

Bratton believes the project is money well spent.

“The initial bid came in at $5.4 million and the county administration and the architects and the contractor all sat down and value engineered the facility. We were able to trim about $800,000 out of it,” said Bratton.

He said the current shelter is often at capacity and said the new facility allows more room for animals.

“We’re going to have approximately 156 spots for dogs, I think about 60 for cats. There’s isolation areas for sick animals and so forth,” explained Bratton. “One of the big things that we will have is an adoption wing where the humane society can adopt animals out of our facility.”

He said they plan to break ground on the new shelter soon, but first, he’s asking Gaffney city leaders to chip in and help pay for the construction project.

“I’ll be going to their meeting soon to go over our entire program, show them the renderings, go over the drawings because currently the city doesn’t deal with animals too much. They have an animal control officer but we take care of them. We house them,” said Bratton.

He said the county will run the facility but he believes the city benefits from the shelter too.

“Roughly a third of the animals that come into that facility come from the City of Gaffney,” said Bratton.

Bratton said the new facility will be open in one year.