Construction under way at Utica Zoo
UTICA — Work continues this week on the construction of a new entrance building at the Utica Zoo. Officials say that once completed, the project will boost the zoo’s community engagement and education capabilities.
“The complete overhaul of our entrance building is going to be our biggest project of 2022. This new building – which will be constructed right where our main entrance is right now – will feature an atrium/visitor building, education classroom, events space, new gift shop,” said zoo spokeswoman Allison Snyder, in recent days.
“This is going to be an exciting project which will bring a lot to the zoo. Construction started earlier this summer and the current estimated completion date is early 2023,” Snyder added.
“Previously we had a welcome center that was around 960 (square) feet. It was very modest … it didn’t give the sense of we’re here, we’re for kids’” when guests arrived from the parking lot, said Andria Heath, executive director of the Utica Zoo.
The new building will be funded by the city of Utica through $2 million from the American Rescue Plan Act, and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, which provided a grant of $500,000.
In addition, the zoo project has received private funding toward the project.
The facility has been designed by Nelson Associates Architectural Engineering and will be around 5,000-square-feet, with a number of new additions to enhance the experience of visitors, Snyder provided.
Features of the new building will include an architecture that will match the zoo’s existing Tudor-style design, two classrooms, event centers, an admission and member kiosk atrium, the visitor welcome center, expanded retail areas and an exterior courtyard.
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