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Georgia Aquarium gears up for major expansion

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aquarium'>Georgia Aquarium – once the largest aquarium in the world – has revealed it’s planning a major extension project, including exhibit space and a new visitor entrance.

The aquarium, which is located in Atlanta, Georgia, and is home to over 100,000 animals, including whale sharks, beluga whales, sea lions and manta rays, has hired PGAV Destinations as lead architect on the project.

The new entrance is proposed for the Baker Street side of the existing site, and will use high-tech interactive and multimedia displays to engage visitors from the point of arrival.

The 41,000sq ft (3,809sq m) expansion is slated to open in 2020.

"We pride ourselves on bringing the wonder of the ocean to millions of guests and children every year," said a statement from the aquarium. "We always strive to discover, innovate and push forward our mission in new and exciting ways. Our next endeavour is a big one, a really big one. We will be releasing details of Expansion 2020 soon."

The expansion is expected to be a hit with out-of-state visitors, who count for about 60 per cent of the aquarium’s 2.4 million annual visitors.

A 2016 study by the Central Atlanta Progress showed the Georgia Aquarium has contributed US$1.9bn (£1.4bn, €1.7bn) to the economy since opening in 2005 and credited the attraction as being a driver for the development of the downtown Atlanta area where it is located.

The facility recently invested US$40m (€36m, £28.7m) in its Pier 225 sea lion exhibit, part of celebrations to mark the aquarium’s 10th anniversary.

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Georgia Aquarium – once the largest aquarium in the world – has revealed it’s planning a major extension project, including exhibit space and a new visitor entrance.
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