Oregon Coast Aquarium to build marine rehabilitation centre in $18m renovation
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Oregon Coast Aquarium to build marine rehabilitation centre in $18m renovation

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If we had a larger building that we could devote to rehabilitation, we could actually increase our ability to accept wildlife that is sick or injured and provide care on a much greater scale.
– Evonne Mochon-Collura

The Oregon Coast Aquarium is raising a targeted $18.2m (€16.5m, £14.4m) to remodel its facilities, improve its learning experience and build a marine rehabilitation centre, with design work by Dangermond Keane Architecture and Walker Macy.

Although the facility is only one of three in the Pacific Northwest that is authorised to provide critical care to endangered marine wildlife, it is was not purpose-built. Instead, it's current rehab centre is housed in a repurposed warehouse. The new centre will have a surgical facility and sustainable building features.

"The building is quite old and was originally built for retail storage, so we are working to do emergency triage and procedures within a building that is not suited for animal medical care," said Evonne Mochon-Collura, curator of fish and invertebrates at the aquarium.

She continued: "If we had a larger building that we could devote to rehabilitation, we could actually increase our ability to accept wildlife that is sick or injured and provide care on a much greater scale."

As part of the renovation, a children's play area themed with Oregon coast ecosystems and heavily integrated with nature will also be built, the entryway and grand hall will be refurbished, the indoor galleries will be remodelled and the educational programming will be updated.

The aquarium has had 15 million visitors through its doors since it opened in 1992, but has not been renovated since.

"When the aquarium opened more than twenty-five years ago, it was never built to see the number of people that come through our doors," said president and CEO Carrie Lewis. "We welcome more than 420,000 guests each year, and attendance is growing. It’s time to update our exhibits. It’s time to improve the visitor experience. It’s time to provide a true facility for the animal rehabilitation that we do behind the scenes."

Construction of the first phase began this month, with all phases expected to be complete by 2022-23.

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The Oregon Coast Aquarium is raising a targeted $18.2m (€16.5m, £14.4m) to remodel its facilities, improve its learning experience and build a marine rehabilitation centre, with design work by Dangermond Keane Architecture and Walker Macy.
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