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Tennessee Aquarium Announces Construction Projects

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (June 25, 2001) - It's hardhat time at the Tennessee Aquarium. On the drafting board are three new projects, one that will significantly enhance the current changing exhibit gallery, announced Charlie Arant, president, on Monday.

Scheduled to open May 1 on the Aquarium's 10th anniversary in the new changing exhibit gallery will be "Seahorses - Beyond Imagination." The Aquarium's changing exhibit gallery has been very successful with "Jellies - Phantoms of the Deep" and "Venom - Striking Beauties," said Arant.

Although popular with visitors, the gallery has been a challenge due to limited space. To improve the ability to have "visitor friendly" exhibits, the plan is to renovate the lower floor of the Aquarium into a new, larger and more flexible changing exhibit gallery. Access to the lower floor will be enhanced with the addition of escalators to improve visitor flow.

"The new gallery is more than twice the size of the current gallery, giving visitors more room and giving our staff more flexibility to create imaginative and captivating exhibits," said Arant. "Also, because the new gallery is off the normal exhibit path, our biannual renovations will be less disruptive to our visitors.

"We are very excited that these changes will allow us to keep our facility new, fresh and 'world class' for our visitors," said Arant. "These construction projects represent an investment of $3 million and are the most significant we've made to the Aquarium building since our opening in May 1992. We couldn't accomplish our mission without the incredible support from the entire city of Chattanooga.

" The area on level 3, where the changing exhibit gallery is currently located, will be completely renovated to offer new exhibits consistent with the Aquarium's regional freshwater theme. An exciting new "touch" tank will be added to help kick off this new exhibit gallery in March 2002.

To make room for the new visitor areas, Aquarium administration and education offices and staff will be relocated to the 2nd floor of the old Coca-Cola plant at 201 Broad Street. The space will be completely renovated for a move in late August of this year.

EMJ is the general contractor. Chermayeff, Sologub and Poole is the architectural firm.

The Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga is the largest freshwater aquarium in the world. Built with private contributions, this non-profit educational organization is dedicated to the understanding, conservation and celebration of aquatic habitats. Admission is $12.95 per adult and $6.95 per child, ages 3-12. Advance tickets may be purchased online at or by phone at 1-800-262-0695. Members enjoy unlimited visits and other benefits. To join or for program and trip information, call 267-FISH. The Aquarium is open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas and is accessible to people with disabilities.





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