Local unions, contractor come to the aid of animal shelter

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Mike Farrell (from left), instructor with the Heat and Frost Insulators Local 1 apprenticeship school, third year apprentice Rory Fitzgerald, and apprenticeship coordinator Terry Walsh take a break during installation of the needed insulation for the new HVAC unit. – Labor Tribune photo

St. Louis – The Animal House no-kill animal shelter has a new HVAC unit at its shelter at 2151 59th Street. But it wouldn’t have happened without the help and generosity of Sheet Metal Workers’ Local 36, Heat and Frost Insulators Local 1 and C&R Mechanical.

“Everyone has been very generous with their time,” Animal House Executive Director Brandyn Jones said. “I think there are a lot of animal lovers in the trades, and just generous souls.”

In the summer of 2012, when Animal House, an independent, nonprofit rescue organization which provides care for approximately 200 stray cats, asked for help with a much needed HVAC system in their new facility, Local 36 and its signatory contractor C&R Mechanical, stepped in with assistance.

Located at 2151 59th Street in the City of St. Louis, the new Animal House replaced a warehouse that had been serving the volunteer organization’s needs since 2010, when the City shuttered its decrepit animal control facility and Animal House scrambled to find someplace to house the homeless animals.

Over the course of two years, the group raised funds so that it could move to a better location and provide a more welcoming feel that would be more conducive for adoptions. When it came to time for sheet metal and mechanical work associated with the all-important HVAC system donated by Purina, Animal House volunteer and project coordinator Ed Throop contacted C&R Mechanical Chairman/CEO George Edinger, Sheet Metal Workers Local 36 Business Representative Steve Kraemer and Local 36 Journeyman Aaron Fiorino about the project.

C&R Mechanical engineered drawings so that Animal House could obtain a building permit, allowed the use of a company boom truck and provided fabricated sheet metal duct materials and tools. Local 36 journeymen Mike Henfling, Frank Hauler, Andy Prichard and Carl Spalinger donated more than 20 hours of their time to fabricate the duct and supplies. Local 36 journeymen Doug Lee, Rick Sexauer, Kevin Wagoner and Aaron Fiorino donated 20 hours of their time for field installation.

Heat and Frost Insulators Local 1 Apprenticeship Coordinator Terry Walsh, Instructor Mike Farrell and third year apprentice Rory Fitzgerald stepped up to install the needed insulation.

“We are so grateful for the generous contributions made by C&R Mechanical and Sheet Metal Workers Local 36 and Heat and Frost Insulators Local 1,” said Throop. “Their donations of materials, labor, guidance and professional services have enabled us to improve the physical environment for our animals, dramatically upgrade the experience that will occur when people visit us, and hopefully help us to place more animals in loving homes.”

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