Construction continues on new Utica Zoo Visitor Center | WUTR/WFXV
UTICA, NY (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – Construction crews are hard at work at the Utica Zoo as the construction process for the new visitor center continues. The team started in June 2022 and Andria Heath, Executive Director of the Utica Zoo, tells me this facility will be a bigger and better experience.
“We used to have a visitor center of about 960 feet, it was very modest, it didn’t feel like we were here, we’re for kids in the parking lot,” said Andria Heath, manager executive 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 provided a $2 million grant. $500,000. In addition to this, the zoo received private funding from Joan Sinnott. The facility was designed by Nelson Associates Architectural Engineering and will be approximately 5,000 square feet, with a number of new additions to enhance the visitor experience.
“We’ll have two classrooms, event center areas, an atrium for visitor arrival, then two family-style washrooms, and then the back of this building will be a nice courtyard that the crowds can spill out onto if we are organizing a rental event such as a wedding or corporate rental etc. “Heath said.
The facility has experienced some setbacks due to infrastructure and supply chain issues. However, visitors can expect the site to be officially open by January 1, 2023.