TOPEKA (KSNT) – A new giraffe experience is in the works at the Topeka Zoo, and a $3 million dollar BASE grant is going a long way towards helping finish that project.

On April 13, the Friends of the Topeka Zoo learned it was awarded a $3 million BASE grant, one of 35 grants the state gave out to support key infrastructure projects.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled,” said Zoo Director Brendan Wiley. “The BASE Grant provides funding for critical infrastructure needs that will add economic growth to local communities and throughout the state.”

The grant requires a 25% match and half of the grant will be given out this year and half in 2023. The zoo hopes to have the projects completed by summer 2023.

“The Topeka Zoo and Conservation Center has experienced phenomenal growth over the past few years,” said Wiley. “We can’t wait to show people what is coming next.”

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly announced the launch of the Building a Stronger Economy (BASE) program in January of 2022. The grants are meant to help support infrastructure development and promote development opportunities across Kansas.