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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Zoo is expected to open its new $77 million aquarium in less than a year.

The 60,000-square-foot building will hold 600,000 gallons of water on the main path of the zoo, right before visitors arrive at the elephants

Crews building the new aquarium just filled the massive shark tank with water. It’s a process workers use to check the tank for leaks. The tank will soon be drained so crews can finish the project. The tank will then be filled with salt water.

The zoo says every tank in the new aquarium will need a different salt level for the marine life inside the tank to survive. Water pumps in the basement of the building will handle the water quality.

The goal is for all the tanks to be installed and filled by the end of December. The zoo plans to begin moving fish into the tanks in March. The fish will need time to acclimate to their new homes.

“We have a lot of work to do. There’s about 80 people here everyday doing work on multiple levels. So what folks are going to see when they come here is only one level. We’ve got a lot of stuff above us and below us,” Sean Putney, Executive Director of the Kansas City Zoo, said.

The project is funded by a 1/8-cent sales tax that Jackson and Clay County residents have been paying since 2011, as well as private donations.

The new aquarium is expected to open to the public over Labor Day weekend in 2023.

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