National Aquarium’s New Animal Care and Rescue Center Coming to Jonestown

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Artist rendering of the new facility, Courtesy National Aquarium
Artist rendering of the new facility, Courtesy National Aquarium

The National Aquarium’s many marine dwellers in the Inner Harbor will soon have some new digs for when they need to go for a check-up.

The aquarium announced this morning that it is partnering up with Design Collective and Plano-Coudon Construction to build the new facility at 901 E. Fayette Street, about a block east of the Shot Tower. It will be 50,000 square feet and have enough room for all of the aquarium’s current and future animals and some of its rescued ones, according to a release.

The present animal care center in Fells Point is 22 years old; the aquarium is planning to “fully transition” to the new space once it is built in 2018.

“The addition of the Animal Care and Rescue Center to Jonestown supports efforts to revitalize and invest in this historic neighborhood, while also providing the highest level of care for the Aquarium’s animals,” said Jacqueline Bershad, the aquarium’s vice president of planning and design, in a statement.

Design Collective will be in charge of architectural design and construction administration, while Plano-Coudon will be advising on costs and construction and managing all subcontractors. Design Collective has experience working with the aquarium, having designed its award-winning Living Seashore exhibit.

In the planned facility, guests will be able to see up-close how the animal rescue team works. The space is being designed to allow the public to look in on the facility while keeping “rigorous standards” for animal care, according to a release. Renderings of the site show an open space with a lobby and viewing windows for guests. The aquarium said in a release that it hopes the layout of the new space will allow the public to better understand the processes of animal quarantining and exhibit fabrication.

Here are a couple other startlingly realistic mockups of the new care and rescue center:

Courtesy National Aquarium
Courtesy National Aquarium
Courtesy National Aquarium
Courtesy National Aquarium

Construction and the move center are slated to happen in the next 18 months. A mix of the aquarium’s own funds and public and private money are funding the project.

Ethan McLeod
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Ethan McLeod

Senior Editor at Baltimore Fishbowl
Ethan has been editing and reporting for Baltimore Fishbowl since fall of 2016. His previous stops include Fox 45, CQ Researcher and Connection Newspapers in Northern Virginia. His freelance writing has been featured in Baltimore City Paper, Leafly, DCist and BmoreArt, among other outlets. He enjoys basketball, humid Mid-Atlantic summers and story tips.
Ethan McLeod
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