Loveland Family Foundation Starts Expansion with $1 Million Donation Toward a Science Learning Center
Loveland Living Planet Aquarium (LLPA) is excited to announce plans to build a Science Learning Campus on the nine-acre lot directly south of the Aquarium’s current facility in Draper. This expansion will include a multi-functional, 80,000-square foot Science Learning Center connected to the existing building by an enclosed breezeway.
The Science Learning Center’s distinctive, innovative exterior design mirrors Utah’s Wasatch Mountains to the east. Once inside, guests will be immersed in discovery and learning through:
- STEM-based (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), state-of-the-art classrooms for grades K-12 as well as college level students
- Science Summer Camp programs
High-tech laboratories equipped for marine biology, genetics, biology, and chemistry studies
- New animal exhibits and science interactive exhibits
- A five-story rainforest habitat and Endangered Species Conservation Center for the Aquarium’s clouded leopards, toucans, and other animals within LLPA’s Species Survival Plan program
- Banquet and conference spaces
Incubator entrepreneur center
“This Science Learning Campus will provide more opportunities to engage students and inspire future scientists of the world,” said Brent Andersen, LLPA Founder & CEO. “We are initiating important research projects in wildlife conservation and assisting other aquariums and zoos in conservation efforts around the world, and our new facility will greatly enhance those efforts.”
The Aquarium’s science campus expansion will increase the facility’s ability to provide its educational offerings to the community, which are extensive—it already has science based learning programs that visit every public elementary school in the state of Utah, every year, reaching nearly 83,000 Utah students each year through its Outreach Education Programs, and an additional 81,000 students who visit the Aquarium each year on field trips.
“We have grown so much since our current facility opened in 2014 and are now home to more than 4,500 animals and 550 species living and thriving within five unique ecosystems,” said Andersen. “We are now at capacity in this building, and will soon see our three millionth visitor since March of 2014. This expansion is the next logical step in our mission to inspire people to explore, discover and learn about earth’s ecosystems, and to understand that it is really just one global ecosystem, our Living Planet.”
Through the new Center, Aquarium education leaders will develop programs for high school classes specializing in STEM fields including biology, chemistry, marine science, and oceanography. The Aquarium also plans to create a partnership between its education department, higher education centers, and research institutions throughout Utah.
“Our family has been involved with The Living Planet Aquarium since the early days, and watched as it outgrew each location,” said Jim Loveland, LLPA Board Member. “When the Draper site expansion plans were shared with us, we decided this was something that would bring a great deal of joy to us and thousands of others. That is why we made a lead gift to catalyze funding for the current facility and it is also why we are now supporting the expansion and the creation of the Science Learning Center.”
The Loveland Family Foundation’s $1 million gift will provide the initial impetus for planning and development of the new Center. A longtime supporter of the Aquarium, the Foundation has been a donor and supporter since 2007, and honored with the naming of the current world-class facility in Draper, which opened in March 2014.
The Science Learning Center campus is estimated to cost $21 million and construction is anticipated to begin in Fall 2018. The Aquarium will keep residents updated on the latest information about the campus expansion. Guests are encouraged to follow LLPA on its various social media platforms for any and all updates.
The Aquarium is currently fundraising for this project. For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Heidi Sheridan at (801) 355-3474 ext. 220 or Heidi.S@thelivingplanet.com or visit thelivingplanet.com/sciencecenter.