NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School Trustees have voted to host Northampton’s animal control facility on their campus.

This partnership will allow their animal science program to work hands-on with the animals. Originally the town wanted to move the animal control into the building of the former moose lodge. Neighbors objected to that proposal. The city is now moving forward on plans to demolish the old Moose Lodge building.

“The Smith Vocational campus has long been a discussed location for the Animal Control Facility. When I took over this project as mayor, it was still not a possibility. Recent changes at SVAHS opened up the conversation again. I am thrilled that not only is it an ideal spot because it’s centrally located and there are no nearby residences, it also pairs synergistically with the planned Companion Animal Concentration,” said Mayor Gina-Louise Sciarra. “While we were excited at the prospect of the former Moose Lodge location because of the added benefit of securing access and maintaining parking for a key conservation area of the Broad Brook-Fitzgerald Lake Greenway, we’re grateful to the SVAHS Trustees and Smith Vocational Superintendent Dr. Andrew Linkenhoker for this even better opportunity.”

“The pieces all fell into place at the right time. After working on it for years, we’re ready to offer a companion animals program, we’ve got a spot for it on campus, and some land next to it that will be perfect for the much-needed Animal Control Facility,” shared Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School Superintendent Linkenhoker. “I’m grateful that the Trustees agreed that this will be another great way we can partner with the city.”

SVAHS Trustee Chair Michael Cahillane noted, “Smith Vocational has long been a strong partner for Northampton. The Trustees are pleased that we were able to provide the best option for the city and demonstrate the value of vocational study to the community in new ways.” 

“This is a win-win-win solution because it addresses a long-identified need for the city, provides an educational opportunity for SVAHS students, and responds to concerns raised by residents in the neighborhood of the Moose Lodge,” Ward One City Councilor Stanley Moulton said.