It has been 30 years since Sunset Zoo had a master plan created by a professional firm, and much has changed in the zoo profession and zoo facilities since that time. Adopting a professional master plan is also one of the requirements for Sunset Zoo’s accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
At the October 23rd City Commission Meeting, Sunset Zoo staff shared an updated master plan with the community. The plans strives to reimagine the Zoo while respecting the past and envisioning the future. With a balance public and private funding, the goal is to increase learning and conservation, and engage the community.
The Master Plan consists of three phases:
- Phase I: estimated cost $20 million, includes entry and education features such as parking, entry buildings, Zoo Sprouts building, nature play, Exhibition Asia
- Phase II: estimated cost $10 million, includes a butterfly house, children’s zoo, and lion habitat
- Phase III: estimated cost $17 million, includes exhibits representing Africa, America, and Australia
Potential future developments will also include penguins, tropics, a reptile/amphibian building, renovations to existing buildings, and other opportunity projects such as a carousel and nature theater.
The plan provides Sunset Zoo and the City of Manhattan with direction for future exhibits, service facilities, pedestrian circulation patterns, and ADA accessibility, wayfinding, staffing levels, revenue potential and estimated costs.
A request for qualifications will go out to contractors and be submitted to the City Commission for approval by the end of this year.