TOWN OF GENEVA — If Fellow Mortals Wildlife Hospital cannot raise $100,000 in the next couple of weeks, work will stop on the new wing of its facility at W4632 Palmer Road.
The hospital and the general contractor of the $525,000 Buchanan Family Critical Care Wing project are working to avoid a halt in construction.
Despite the looming threat of running out of money midconstruction, Fellow Mortals co-founder Yvonne Wallace Blane has faith in finding donors to keep the project going.
“It’s an adventure, and I feel like we’re not done,” Wallace Blane siad. “We have a lot to do, and we’re going to be allowed to do it.”
The project involves converting 2,000 square feet of mostly pre-existing, unused space in the facility. A 4-by-18-foot extension was built to create a new entrance.
The wing will provide Fellow Mortals with places for triage, isolating diseased animals and dedicated units to treat raptors, fawns, waterfowl, beavers, eagles and deer. It also will house office space, a new admission area and a library.
Hunzinger Construction Co., of Brookfield, is the general contractor on the project, which is named after the Buchanan Family Foundation, of Lake Forest, Illinois.
The company has helped Fellow Mortals find discounts and other cost savings since work began in October 2017.
Tim VanDynHoven, Hunzinger’s vice president, said about $250,000 worth of work remains on the project, and the $100,000 is needed to “keep us going.”
Donations have kept Fellow Mortals operating since 1985.
In 2015, the Buchanan foundation gave Fellow Mortals $360,000 — about half of which went toward a new repair shop for the hospital, and the rest toward the wing.
After Christmas, Fellow Mortals raised another $75,000 in donations, but if more rolls in, Wallace Blane said the wing could be finished this spring.
“What we’re hoping is we’ll be able to finish three rooms that can be used this spring, even if we can’t do anything else,” she said, referring to rooms that will be used to help fawns and raptors.
If not, VanDynHoven said work would pause until Fellow Mortals finds additional funding.
“This organization is so worthy and fulfilling for all of us,” VanDynHoven said. “We are still working with and finding additional subcontractors and suppliers to help on this project.”
So far, Hunzinger took $20,000 off the total price on its own, and discounts of $2,000 each came from local companies Dunn Lumber, Otto Jacobs Co., and Down To Earth Contractors, as well as several companies outside the area.
Soon, Fellow Mortals will meet with Creative Edge Landscaping of Twin Lakes, which has offered to provide lumber for the project.
Corinne Livingston, co-owner of Creative Edge, said how much lumber they can provide remains to be seen, but they want to help.