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Utah's Living Planet Aquarium to Move to New 130,000 Square Foot Facility

Aquarium's board of trustees selects architectural firm and contractor to build new aquarium.

January 24, 2012

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aquarium in Utah

Computer rendering of the new Living Planet Aquarium that will be built in Draper, Utah. Image courtesy Living Planet Aquarium

The Utah Aquarium board of trustees has selected an architectural firm and commercial contractor to build out the aquarium's new facility in Draper City, Utah after soliciting statements of interest and qualifications from design teams and contractors. The trustees selected Beecher Walker Architects and Layton Construction to design and build the new Living Planet Aquarium, a projected 130,000 square foot facility that will dwarf the current 43,000-square-foot facility in nearby Sandy. Groundbreaking for the new facility will be in April 2012. It will house 60+ tanks and will also have revolving exhibit space for new exhibits each year. The new facility is expected to be completed in the spring of 2013.

"The new Board, consisting of seasoned executives, is excited with the tremendous progress made by the aquarium in the last two years, including fund raising, state appropriations and land acquisition," Ragula Bhaskar, Ph.D., Chairman of the Board said in a prepared statement. Bhaskar said the aquarium will be one of the best facilities in the Intermountain West region.

The aquarium has raised nearly $7 million to build out the facility and the city of Draper will float a bond of approximately $11.7 million to complete the facility. Since opening in 2004, and then moving again in 2006, the aquarium has hosted more than 375,000 visitors each year and has grown more than 50 percent during the recession, according to a press release put out by the aquarium. The new aquarium's construction is expected to support 317 jobs, and the aquarium is expected to generate $1.7 million in tax revenues for the state. For more information, visit The Living Planet Aquarium's website.

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Utah's Living Planet Aquarium to Move to New 130,000 Square Foot Facility

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Reader Comments

Jason    Clovis, NM

2/6/2012 8:01:42 AM

My family visited the aquarium at the current location while on vacation in the summer of 2011, and it was a awesome setup for such a small location. Great family environment! Can't wait to see what they do with the new location on a future vacation!

Linda    Ogden, UT

2/2/2012 8:21:05 PM

I can't wait for the opening. I was impressed with the current facility! This should be awesome. And kudos to them for hiring local firms to design and build. This shows an ongoing desire to be a great member of the community.

Carl    Livermore, CA

1/25/2012 10:30:43 AM

Bset wishes in the new digs.

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