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PREVIEW: Clearwater Marine Aquarium reveals major expansion plan

2:33 PM, Mar 1, 2013   |    comments
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The $14.5 million expansion to be completed in 1st quarter of 2014 will allow Aquarium to accomodate another 250,000 visitors a year. (Clearwater Marine Aquarium)
 PDF Document: Economic Impact Study Summary Final  PDF Document: Clearwater Marine Aquarium revised 2013 03 05

Clearwater, Florida -- The Clearwater Marine Aquarium is preparing to announce a $160 million expansion that would transfer "Winter the Dolphin" and exhibits to a new downtown facility, but keep marine hospital operations on Island Estates.

The CMA plans to announce the project at a workshop session of the City Council next week.

PREVIEW: Clearwater Marine Aquarium Expansion Presentation

"The downtown Clearwater facility would house the primary tourism and education components of the CMA mission, including resident animals such as Winter and Hope," the CMA states in a presentation prepared for delivery to the council Tuesday morning.

The new facility would be located on public land where City Hall now stands, and would be subject to voter approval.

PHOTOS: Clearwater Marine Aquarium major expansion plan

It would include on the first level an outdoor Everglade Exhibit, enclosed Waterbird Exhibit, a Manatee marina, Otter Exhibit, an area for kids and classrooms.

The second floor would have an interactive Touch Tank, Sea Horse Exhibit, Jelly Fish Exhibit, two story Coral Reef Exhibit, the Dolphin Stadium, Marine Rescue Exhibit, Octopus Exhibit, Turtle Tank, theater and classrooms.

Total construction would take more than three years from time of approval, and costs are pegged at about $160.5 million. If all goes as planned, the new facility could open in April of 2017.

PDF: Economic Impact Study Summary Final

The plan includes removal of the Harborview Center and expansion of green space near Coachman Park.

City of Clearwater

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