(KCPW News) Hogle Zoo appears to be well on its way to meeting the requirements for receiving $33 million dollars in bond money from Salt Lake County, which was approved by voters. It needs to raise $11 million dollars total by November 2010. Spokeswoman Holly Braithwaite says the zoo could reach its goal within the next two months, more than a year before the deadline imposed by the county council.
“And it’s just been the mentality to continue to work hard and move forward and our continued commitment to getting the money that we said we would get, which is a reason why we had such overwhelming support in the bond election,” Braithwaite says.
The money is earmarked for an Arctic Exhibit and part of an African Savannah exhibit. Going into the election last November, the zoo had already raised $7.3 million. But Braithwaite declined to say how close the zoo is now to its $11 million target.
Over at Tracy Aviary, Executive Director Tim Brown says it will be a challenge, but he’s confident the aviary will meet its $1.5 million fundraising requirement to receive the final third of a $20 million dollar bond also approved by county voters. But the facility still has more than half a million dollars left to raise. Brown says the challenge with the aviary is that nothing was done to improve it for so long.
“You know, it sits on the site of the historic zoo from 1911 to 1935 and we just grew on top of that almost organically,” Brown says. “And this is an opportunity to correct some of the wrongs, the way things relate to one another. So we have plenty of work to do.”
Tracy Aviary has already received $13.5 million from the bond to renovate the Wilson Pavilion, improve its exhibit space and make it accessible for the public year-round. Brown says the project should begin in October, and is slated for completion by next Memorial Day.