Construction has begun on a stable at Critteraid’s animal sanctuary on Giant’s Head Road.
On Thursday, Okanagan College students were at the facility to prepare and pour the concrete for the footings for the stable.
This phase is funded in part with a $5,027 donation from the Vancouver Foundation.
The next phase is the completion of the structure. The final phase is the completion of fencing and gates for all the paddocks and pastures.
Students from Okanagan College will participate as the prime contractor during all phases, providing their labour at no cost.
The need for the stable began in early 2011 when Steve Thomson, Minister of Natural Resource Operations, authorized a wild horse be given to Critteraid. The horse was one of several which were being rounded up in the Deadman Valley near Kamloops to protect sensitive range ecosystems.
Critteraid acquired six horses, including three pregnant mares.
Thomson later said it was his intention to look into the legislation surrounding abandoned livestock on Crown lands.
After Gillian Lorimer and Judy Colpitts contacted Thomsen, encouraging that the horses go to Critteraid, ministry staff looked into possibilities for groups like Critteraid to invest in the horses.
Colpitts, coordinator of disability services and student services at Okanagan College, spoke with John Kenny, a Critteraid volunteer who works in the civil engineering technology department at the college.
They then spoke with Alf Leimert, the college’s chair of construction trades, to see about the possibility of students building one or two loafing sheds at Critteraid.
Leimert then spoke with staff, including Darrell Butler, one of the instructors at the college.
Critteraid president Deborah Silk had said one of the capital projects at Critteraid was to abandon the present loafing sheds for horses since they are too close to the riparian area.