TOPEKA (KSNT) – The Topeka Zoo broke ground on the new Giraffe and Friends Exhibit, Tuesday morning.
“To all our staff that are here, the zoo is represented by the people that do so much on a daily basis. When this is built, it will be the largest project in this zoo’s history, both in scope, size and budget.”Brendon Wiley, Topeka Zoo Director
Speakers at today’s event included Topeka Mayor Michelle De La Isla, State Representative Fred Patton, Pamela Alexander, Zoo Director Brendon Wiley.
The new Giraffe and Friends Exhibit will include a 10,000 sq. ft. modern giraffe facility, a 4,000 sq. ft. hoofstock barn that can house antelope, gazelles and large birds.
The new buildings will interact with a mixed species three acre outdoor habitat.
This outdoor habitat is directly south of Camp Cowabunga and will wrap around Cowabunga.
The project will also have a group entry and a plaza area that will be the intersection between the Kay McFarland Japanese Garden, Camp Cowabunga and the new giraffe project.
When completed, the Giraffe and Friends exhibit will be the largest project in the zoo’s history.
The project is expected to cost $7.75 million.
It will be funded through $6.25 million of private donations and $1.5 million of Countywide sales tax funding. The zoo will complete the remaining $1.3 million fundraising goal as the project is being built.
KBS Building Contractors is the general contractor for the 18 month project.