Things look to be going swimmingly at the Texas State Aquarium at the start of the new year.
The aquarium recently announced they have selected Turner Ramirez Architects and SpawGlass Contractors to design and construct The Port of Corpus Christi Center for Wildlife Rescue at the Texas State Aquarium which will be set on the main campus.
In September of 2019, ExxonMobil-SABIC donated $2 million towards the $18 million to $20 million price tag of the state-of-the-art Wildlife Rescue Facility. Last month, the aquarium received another gift in the form of a $2.5 million grant from the Port of Corpus Christi with the rescue center also being renamed The Port of Corpus Christi Center for Wildlife Rescue in honor of the gift.
“We are so pleased and excited to announce this team,” President and CEO of the Texas State Aquarium Tom Schmid said. “After a thorough and competitive (request for quotation) process, I’m confident that we landed with the right firms to help us achieve our vision for the new center.”
Turner Ramirez Architects was founded in 1958 by Jack Rice Turner. The design firm is a full-service South Texas design firm, leading a number of major projects, including the Del Mar College South Side campus.
“We are honored to be able to work with the Texas State Aquarium on this project to further their mission of wildlife conservation and education within the state of Texas,” President of Turner Ramirez Architects Philip Ramirez said. “Our design team is especially excited about the opportunity to envision a facility that can inspire curiosity and action for generations to come.”
In a statement, the aquarium said that with the design and construction team in place, they hope to complete design work by the middle of 2021 and construction could begin soon after. Construction and building commissioning are expected to take about 12 to 14 months, with the goal of opening the new center in the fall of 2022.
The goal of the Aquarium’s Wildlife Rescue program, which will be headquartered in the new center, is to rescue and rehabilitate marine animals such as shorebirds, sea turtles, and dolphins, and, whenever possible, return them to the wild.
With the construction of the new center, the aquarium will increase capacity, improve care through the use of state-of-the-art facilities and technology and, for the first time, allow the public into the center to observe the wildlife rescue work in action.