Plans are underway for a Florida Aquarium expansion project at Tampa’s Channel District in Florida. Darryl Shaw, a Tampa-based developer will be leading the fundraising effort dubbed the Sea Change campaign. The aquarium intends to raise $40 million to pay for new habitats for African penguins, California sea lions, and puffins.
The Florida Aquarium expansion will be the first major expansion since the aquarium’s opening in 1995. Shaw described the facility as a community treasure, with an impact that goes far beyond the region’s borders. Therefore he said, he was certain that the project would be well received by Channel District.
Development plans for the Florida Aquarium expansion project
The Florida Aquarium expansion project will be built in three phases which will be completed by 2025. In the initial phase of the project, an existing ballroom space will be transformed into a special exhibit gallery. The aquarium expects to complete construction on the gallery by year’s end.
Afterward, the second phase of the Florida Aquarium expansion will commence, which will feature a two-story, multidimensional habitat for puffins. This phase also includes a large-scale outdoor pavilion to house California sea lions. Additionally, an African penguin habitat will also be part of the outdoor expansion. The penguin habitat is part of the Aquarium’s effort to impact the survival of the species.
The third phase of the Florida Aquarium expansion project is the most ambitious phase of the project. It will feature three interconnected sea lion spaces with a main habitat and an animal encounter habitat. What’s more, it also provides a presentation space with underwater viewing, as well as overlooking seating arrangements.
Florida Aquarium’s CEO, Roger Germann was pleased with the Florida Aquarium expansion project. Germann said the project would bring rich and lasting experiences and education to the region. Furthermore, he also said it supports the aquarium’s purpose of saving marine wildlife in the community and throughout Florida.