Construction is officially under way for the new building for the Living Planet Aquarium in Draper. Supporters, board members, city and state officials lined up at a groundbreaking cermony and shoved dirt to signify the start of the construction of the new facility.
The name of the new aquarium building will be Loveland Living Planet Aquarium. The building will be a 2-story facility consisting of 136,000 square feet, more than three times as large as the facility they are currently housed at in Sandy. The aquarium will be located at 12047 So. Lone Peak Parkway and is scheduled to open in December 2013.
The aquarium's founder and CEO Brent Andersen, obtained his marine biology degree and came back to Utah. He started taking marine animals around to school children and eventually this led to a fixed site at the Gateway Mall, and then a larger facility in Sandy. Now they will finally have their own, much larger building. Anderson said the facility will feature 62 exhibits, including a 300,000 gallon shark tank. He said: "This is the last time we move. This is our final home."
The acquarium features include:
* A 400-seat banquet hall
* A cafe and a gift shop
* Utah's first 4-D theater
* Classroom facilities
* Climate-controlled environments for each ecosystem housed in the aquarium
* 62 exhibits
* 300,000 gallon shark tank