LOCAL NEWS

Seattle City Council loans $20 million to aquarium expansion project

Aug 17, 2022, 10:01 AM
aquarium...
(Photo by Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
(Photo by Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

The City Council has decided to loan $20 million to the Seattle Aquarium to expedite construction for a new addition.

The expansion project will feature a new exhibit to the east of the current aquarium building across the street from Alaskan Way, which will be called the Ocean Pavilion. The project plans to add 40% more exhibit space and is set to include several major new attractions for the aquarium, including a Tropical Pacific exhibit.

This new tropical exhibit is expected to expand current capacity and boost attendance to 1-1.2 million, according to Aquarium President Robert Davidson.

Seattle Aquarium prepping for major expansion

“We think the investment is worth it, and it’s going to deliver a world-class aquarium to the city of Seattle,” said Brad Rutherford, Seattle Aquarium’s chief operating officer.

The Seattle Aquarium blames COVID-19 for running up costs from $113 to $160 million for the Ocean Pavilion, which they say is primarily due to delays in construction and the rising cost of materials and labor costs.

Another big factor in the increased cost relates to Seattle’s waterfront revival projects — which began after the viaduct was demolished — allowing for more space for parks, walkable sidewalks, and more. The revival project authorized a new public rooftop space on top of the new aquarium building, a late addition that has affected the construction timeline.

In a committee meeting last week, city Councilmember Alex Pedersen was the lone vote against the extra money as he questioned the total cost rising to $160 million from $113 million in 2019.

“That’s a 41% increase in just thirty months,” Pedersen said.

Pedersen and fellow Councilmember Kshama Sawant were the only “no” votes when the matter went before the full council on Tuesday.

According to Rutherford, the $20 million loan will be repaid to the city with interest.

The city has previously allocated $34 million in grants for the pavilion project, specifically adding funding for the introduction of a shark exhibit.

Half of the total funding comes from the government and the other half from private donors.

Despite the COVID slowdown, the aquarium says it’s on track to meet fundraising goals.

The new building is expected to open in 2024.

Local News

Teen home run ball...
Jake Chapman, KIRO 7 News

Teen from Puyallup catches home run ball that ended M’s 21-year playoff drought

17-year-old Marchany Roman, of Puyallup, caught the drought-ending home run hit by Cal Raleigh after the M's defeated Oakland Friday night.
1 day ago
smiley woke...
L.B. Gilbert

Tiffany Smiley criticizes Seattle Times over cease and desist letter

After being issued a cease and desist order, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Tiffany Smiley is now criticizing The Seattle Times.
1 day ago
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - SEPTEMBER 30: Julio Rodriguez #44 of the Seattle Mariners celebrates with fan...
Nicole Jennings

Mariners will not be hosting playoff games this weekend

The Mariners will be playing in the first round of the MLB playoff games this weekend. So how likely is it that those games will take place in Seattle?
1 day ago
Aberdeen High School...
Sam Campbell

Boy accused of using Aberdeen HS TikTok to post shooting threats

Classes are set to resume in Aberdeen after they were canceled because of threats posted to one of the high school’s social media accounts.
1 day ago
Suspect in REI bike theft - Police said the suspect admitted to stealing the bike, and he was arres...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Man suspected of stealing bike from REI worth $2,400 arrested in Bellevue

A man suspected of stealing a bike worth $2,400 was arrested by Bellevue police on Tuesday.
1 day ago
Flood Insurance...
Ted Buehner

Rainy season is in a month, are you ready with flood insurance?

After an all-time record dry summer, it may be hard to believe that the Washington flood season is just around the corner.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Seattle City Council loans $20 million to aquarium expansion project