Sedgwick County Zoo Entrance

Sedgwick County Zoo Entrance

Location: Wichita, KS Owner: Sedgwick County Architect: GLMV Architecture

The Sedgwick County Zoo selected Eby to be the construction manager for their new entry in the Fall of 2020. Eby’s team started by providing numerous estimates to the Zoo to confirm the project budget. After early estimates indicated costs exceeding the Zoo’s anticipated budget, the team assisted GLMV Architecture by providing value engineering ideas to help lower cost. Through innovation and teamwork, the project was brought back into budget and work began.

This complex project involved much more than just replacing a building. Before any work could begin on site, a new temporary entry gate and ticketing booths had to be constructed to safely reroute guests around the large construction site. Careful attention was given to parking, fencing, signage and walking paths to assist guests in understanding where to go.

After the temporary entrance was completed, demolition of the existing entry structure began. Once the site was cleared, the first task was to relocate a myriad of utilities including all the zoo’s data and communication lines to the new administration building which would serve as the new data hub.

With the underground work complete, Eby began work on both the new 2-story entry facility and gift shop buildings simultaneously. The primary structure, which was the administration building, was built to house ticketing, zoo operations/staff and security. The gift shop building included both a retail area and a kennel space where guests can leave their dogs during their visit.

In keeping with the Zoo’s mission of conservation, many “green” features were built into the design. This included a large solar array along the front entry, electric vehicle charging stations, enhanced building envelope insulation and locally sourced limestone. However, one the most unique features may go unnoticed. The glazing system around the buildings incorporated bird-safe glass. The glass has lines manufactured in it, which are almost imperceptible to humans, but very visible to birds. This prevents birds from flying into the glass and being harmed.

The grand opening for the new entry coincided with the ribbon cutting for the zoo’s original grand opening, 50 years prior.