January 19, 2010 – Forrester wins $25 Million Seal / Sea Lion Life Support Facility and Site Renewal at the National Zoo in Washington, DC. This project will involve the demolition of the existing seal / sea lion complex and construction of a new facility. The existing 30,000 SF facility was built in 1978, and includes individual exhibit pools for seals and sea lions, separate holding pools for both species, and a large structure housing the life support systems, maintenance, storage, and support operations. Age and technology advances have left the seal and sea lion life support systems and the associated facilities in need of major revitalization, so that current USDA and AZA standards for the care of marine mammals may be met.
The project will include tree protection, protection of adjacent live-animal exhibits, an addition to and modification of the existing life support system building, new life support equipment, replacement of two exhibit pools and four holding pools, construction of a new amphitheater and under water viewing area, upgrade of utilities in Beaver Valley, a small food service cafe, faux rockwork shorelines replicating the North Pacific coast, visitor and animal barrier systems, landscaping, site retaining walls, accessible pathways, and other site work. The zoo will remain open throughout the project.
The Owner is the Smithsonian National Zoological Park and the Architect is Quinn Evans of Washington, DC. Construction began in November of 2009 and is scheduled to finish in November of 2011.