TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - Monday was the final day for visitors at the Toledo Zoo to see the aquarium in its current form. It is going to take more than 2 years and $25 million to completely overhaul the facility, scheduled to reopen in 2015.
It was built as part of the Works Progress Administration and opened to the public in May of 1939. Nearly 75 years of service and exposure to saltwater has taken its toll on the historic building.
The aquarium is set to become a completely new attraction on the inside.
"The outside of the building is going to stay the same, the historic WPA building, but the inside will be completely different. We think it'll be more engaging and more interesting for the kids. There'll be a touch tank where you can pet a stingray or a shark. There'll be a large 93,000 gallon tank that'll have a diver going into the tank to feed the fish and talk to the audience through a microphone," said Jay Hemdal, Curator of Fish at the Toledo Zoo.
About a quarter of the fish currently at the zoo will be kept in temporary tanks inside a warehouse building. The rest will be relocated to other facilities around the country and the zoo will bring in new fish when the aquarium is ready to reopen.
The majority of the funding for the project is coming from the capital levy approved by voters in 2006, with the rest coming from private donations.
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