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Zoo Atlanta Breaks Ground on New Amphibian and Reptile Experience

By Keisha Hines
Something spectacular is coming to Zoo Atlanta, and the evolution officially began on June 4, 2013.  At a gathering of elected and appointed officials, community partners and Zoo Atlanta leaders and staff, ceremonial shovels broke ground on Scaly Slimy Spectacular: The Amphibian and Reptile Experience, scheduled to open in late 2015.
Scaly Slimy Spectacular will represent the largest fundraising effort in the Zoo’s history. Zoo Atlanta has raised just under $22 million as part of an ongoing capital campaign to fund the roughly 14,000 square-foot experience, with a goal of raising an additional $1.4 million over the next few months.
“We’re standing on the cornerstone of a new era for Zoo Atlanta. Our community has shown willingness to make a significant investment in the future of the Zoo,” said Raymond B. King, President and CEO. “We hope that as the public aspect of our capital campaign continues, Zoo Members, families and guests will also want to play a personal role in seeing history being made with what will truly be a world-class experience for Atlantans and Georgians.”
Winter Johnson Group, a partnership of the Atlanta-based Winter Construction and Johnson Construction Services, has been selected as general contractor; Scaly Slimy Spectacular will be the company’s 22nd construction project. Project architects are Torre Design Group Consortium, Ltd.
Scaly Slimy Spectacular will replace the 51-year-old World of Reptiles, the Zoo’s oldest building still in use for public exhibits. The new complex will be erected on a separate site which has not been accessible to the general public in decades.
There are more than 450 reptiles and amphibians at Zoo Atlanta, but a sizable portion of these animals have not been on exhibit as a result of space constraints in the World of Reptiles. Scaly Slimy Spectacular will provide naturalistic new homes for members of the existing collection while introducing large crocodilians and other exciting new arrivals. The complex will feature interactive indoor venues and state-of-the-art exhibits showcasing the amazing extremes in size, speed, color and behavior that make reptiles and amphibians such compelling animals to observe, study, and protect.
Stay tuned for construction updates.

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