Masks and purs carried the day Saturday as folks gathered at Sherman’s Animal Shelter to unveil the new kitty quarters there.


Leadership Sherman’s class of 2020 didn’t let the COVID-19 crisis get in the way of their class project. The group raised $25,000 to upgrade the facility to include a renovated treatment room, holding areas for sick and recently acquired felines, as well as two play rooms.


The money was raised through donations from area businesses, the names of many of which are displayed on the back wall of the cat area.


Marleen Phillips who works at Grayson College’s Center for Workforce Learning and who was a part of this year’s Leadership Sherman class said every leadership class has the opportunity to choose a community project.


She said the class toured the facility as part of their tour of Sherman and were impressed with the plans that the were already laid out for the renovation.


“And as things go, a vision is just a vision and it needs the financial backing as well as the logistics to make it a reality and our class was like, ’OK, we may not be able to lay the tile or build the walls but we can certainly help with fundraising,’” she said.


The group also helped with a little bit of the deconstruction that was needed before the redesign could begin.


“We’re really proud of how it came out, but I think what we are most proud of is how the community stepped up in this effort,” she continued.


There have been 31 different Leadership Sherman classes since the program began.


“Here we are celebrating another great Leadership Class,” Sherman Mayor David Plyer said.


He said the projecs that are dedicated through the class every year really make a huge impact on the city and it residents.


“It raises the awareness of Sherman across the state,” he said.


He said he had been thinking that the animal shelter needed some attention since he first joined the Sherman City Council.


“To make it more adoption friendly. It had that vet smell,” he said remembering how it was then.


“The Leadership Sherman class just kinda put us over the top. The renovations helps people the animals in a habitat that shows how they would fit into a family,” he said.