Today, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium officially broke ground on the 40+ acre, $30 million Safari Africa! project. Director Emeritus, Jack Hanna, acting Director, Tom Stalf, and a host of other stakeholders dug into the open fields once used for soybean farming located just north of the current zoo property. "We had a beautiful sunny morning, the photos outlining the project...were outstanding and were placed around the tent. We had three huge metal giraffes from our gift shop which welcomed our guests. Our friends from the promotions department joined us with Trout the Penguin , Lucky the Leopard Turtle, a Wild Boar and a Porcepine. Jack, Tom and other dignitaries, armed with their “gold” shovels autographed by Jack, took the first shovels of dirt from the site," stated Daryl Halvacs from the Zoo's Planning and Design department.
Along with the ceremony, the Zoo published a series of conceptual renderings prepared by project designer, PGAV. As an insider, I'll share a tiny secret: these renderings are just a taste of the whole experience so prepare to be surprised when you visit after opening May 2014!