- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 11, 2020

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Kansas City parks officials have approved plans for the Kansas City Zoo to build a $75 million aquarium.

The Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners on Tuesday approved spending $500,000 in capital improves to kick off the project, the Kansas City Star reported. Zoo executive director Randy Wisthoff said he hopes to complete designs and begin construction next year. The hope is that the aquarium will open in 2023, Wisthoff said.

The Friends of the Kansas City Zoo, which has been working toward the project for six years, has hired a designer for the proposed 60,000-square-foot, 600,000 gallon aquarium that will include jellyfish and sea otter exhibits and will also house a giant octopus and sharks.

The $45 million in funding for the aquarium will come from the existing zoo-district sales tax, Wisthoff said, while $30 million will come from private funding.

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