SPRINGFIELD – Governor George H. Ryan today released $1.5 million in Illinois FIRST funds to help pay for general renovations, improvements to visitor spaces and the upgrade of mechanical systems at the world-famous Brookfield Zoo in the Chicago suburb of Brookfield.
“One of the primary goals of Illinois FIRST has been to upgrade the quality of life for the people of our state,” Ryan said. “This grant will heighten the experience of students and families who are learning about nature and the animal kingdom at Brookfield Zoo.”
The scope of the work includes the repair and improvement of existing exhibits and public spaces, as well as a host of behind-the-scenes mechanical repairs and upgrades. The grant also will pay for automated door openers, ramps and exhibit viewing windows required by the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.
The majority of the repairs and improvements will be done in the Reptile House, Australia House, the Pachyderm House, the “Roar Store,” the Tropical World Exhibit and the Dolphinarium.
Illinois FIRST funds for the construction of this project are generated through the sale of state bonds. By law, proceeds from the sale of bonds cannot be used for general state operations.