A team of professionals from Scottsbluff, the state of Nebraska and Atlanta are partnering with the Riverside Discovery Center to design bold new exhibits for the zoo, including the planned grizzly bear exhibits.
Executive director Anthony Mason says the design team includes Epsten Group and Ursa International from Atlanta plus local and Nebraska based Joseph Hewgley & Associates Architectural Firm, M.C. Schaff & Associates, Specialized Engineering Solutions and Performance Engineering.
Mason says it is not unusual for local and out of town firms who are experienced in designing zoo exhibits to partner so they have a local hands-on presence as the project progresses. Mason says Ursa International specializes in bear exhibits and the Epsten Group designed the Atlanta tiger exhibit and is experienced in other carnivore exhibits.
The outdoor grizzly exhibit is estimated to cost $500,000 and then a Phase Two exhibit has a budget of $1.5 million. Mason says they have $80,000 raised for the first phase but need more businesses and individuals to donate, noting they still have naming opportunities available for key features.