If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you already know that the animal department has been under a lot of construction for a while now. We’ve added a new extension to the building, gotten our kitchen remodeled, had new flooring installed to part of our hall, and most recently we have installed a large walk-in freezer.
Now, I say “most recently” very loosely. Why, you might ask? Because the freezer parts have actually been here since September of last year, and were (mostly) assembled in October. Since then, the keepers have been waiting patiently for the freezer to be finished and running. As for now, it is just a pretty object that we get to look at every day as a distant dream of something that might be of use to us some time in the probably-not-near future.
The reason for the wait is because of the electrical work that needs to be finished. The freezer will be hooked up to a generator so that we can keep all of our frozen food safe during a power outage. This walk-in freezer is huge (approximately nine by fifteen feet), and once it is working it will actually replace four large chest freezers and another large standing freezer full of food that we currently have scattered throughout the department support hall and in (what will eventually be) our new surgery room. We will also move all of the 40 and 50 pound bags of unopened food we currently keep on metal shelves into the walk-in. That’s a lot of food, so having the new freezer attached to a back-up generator is a big deal for us!
Once the electrical work is finally done (Sherry says it will all be completed in 3 weeks. Bwahahahaha!!!), the freezer roof will be added and we will start setting up the shelves and moving everything out of the old freezers and into the walk-in. Then a long chain of events will happen to eventually get our support hall back to normal…. which some of the keepers have never even experienced! (Keeper Aaron was hired 12 months ago and Keeper Kimberly started here 15 months ago and all they have ever known is the department being under construction!) At some point when all of this is done, our new surgery room will be usable, our old quarantine room will be a new computer work room, and our support hall will be free of clutter. Oh, what a dream!