Construction of Taronga Zoo’s new global centre for conservation science and learning for researchers, students and visitors will proceed after the Department of Planning and Environment signed off on the development, Environment Minister Mark Speakman announced today.
The $30.7 million Taronga Institute of Science and Learning will allow Taronga to build on its current world-leading education and research programs.
Mr Speakman said the Institute would work with more than 10 universities across a range of scientific disciplines.
“The Institute will enable Taronga to expand on its strengths in science and education, increase the zoo’s ability to undertake leading research and inspire individuals and communities to secure a future for wildlife,” he said.
The zoo’s existing education facility will be demolished and a new three-storey centre built within the zoo.
The facility will support a range of learning programs for students from kindergarten to PhD level as well as the public, and provide facilities including:
* Tech labs for the study of animal welfare and conservation science
* Facilities to support in-house and partner organisations working on the ground
* Themed immersive classrooms for school children
The Taronga Institute of Science and Learning will be built to an environmentally sensitive design that allows the building to step down the site, retaining a similar height to the zoo’s existing Education Centre. The plans were publicly exhibited in January and February 2016 and construction work is scheduled to start in October this year.
Opening in 2018, the Institute of Science and Learning is part of the zoo’s Centenary Revitalisation Plan and is jointly funded by the NSW Government and the Taronga Conservation Society through donations to the Taronga Foundation.