June 8, 2021
Sedgwick County Zoo’s Grand Opening a Success
On May 27, 2021 the ribbon was cut at the Sedgwick County Zoo’s new entrance at their grand opening ceremony.
The day of the event coincided with the zoo’s 50th anniversary. Since 1971 the organization and their dedicated staff have worked hard to inspire respect and conservation for wildlife and wild places, and have been successful time and time again.
The new entrance features special sustainable additions to the Zoo’s conservation mission, such as bird-safe glass, solar panels, and locally sourced limestone.
The glass used in this project has striations that birds can see, which keeps them from flying into it and reduces the number of bird strikes. The cottonwood limestone used in the new building comes from Chase County, Kansas, where the quarry is about 90 miles from the jobsite. Locally sourced material creates a sustainability feature for the building, since the fuel used for transportation is minimal. Behind the limestone, there’s a continuous layer of insulation that runs on the outside of the studs, and creates an envelope around the building, helping with energy efficiency in the facilities.
The solar panel array that runs around the front of the building produces about 100,000-kilowatt hours of electricity a year, which is about enough to power 10 average size homes in Wichita, Kansas. The solar panels were designed with a visual appeal in mind, making it a part of the architecture on the roof of the field behind the building,
The new complex includes a gift shop, ticket booth and administrative offices, and replaced the existing 40-year-old entrance. The new entry has two separate buildings, one for a gift shop and another for ticket sales, memberships and second-floor office space. The new building for tickets, membership and administration also houses security, first aid and a board room for meetings. This area replaced the current administrative building off Zoo Boulevard that was once used for storage before the zoo opened. The new gift shop, where guests now exit the zoo, has a kennel space where guests can leave their dogs during their visit.
To alleviate wait times, the new entryway has a two-part ticketing system. Guests who have a membership card or a ticket on their phone can head straight to the admission gate, while guests who need to purchase tickets can line up at the booth adjacent to the main entrance.
We at Eby Construction are proud to be a part of yet another incredible project at our city’s beautiful zoo.
Learn more about the entrance project and more zoo projects Eby has built through the years here.