Sunday, October 12, 2014
PALM BEACH COUNTY CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS ARE FORGING AHEAD WITH NEW DEVELOPMENTS
The Dreher Park Zoo and Science Center are planning an ecotourism complex that is estimated to attract 2.2MM annual visitors, and to be the largest destination in the US focused on conservation and environment. Cost slated to range between $93MM and $123MM, and result after 10 years, in an annual impact of $300MM. Joint venture agreement discussions to lay out roles and responsibilities are being held. Plans call for a butterfly haven, rope canopy tour, IMAX theatre, outdoor Everglades exhibit, environment education center, and more. Next February, completion is scheduled for the science center’s west wing, doubling its usable space over the past four years to 40,000 sq ft. It’s last fiscal year ended with a $30,000 surplus. By the end of the year, the zoo will have doubled the size of its Malayan tiger habitat.
The Norton Museum has begun rehabbing six historic houses it owns on Cranesnest Way and is planning an expansion to reorient the Dixie Highway entrance, and to add 15,000 sq ft of new or renovated gallery space.
Palm Beach Atlantic University’s 78-acre Marshall and Vera Lee Rinker Athletic Campus has raised more than $15MM to benefit the athletic campus, academic programs and scholarships. The President of the College stated that the school’s economic impact on the community is $345MM.