Groundbreaking has taken place on a $7.5 million addition to the Santa Barbara Zoo that will be called the Discovery Pavilion.It has been in the planning stages for 30 years.Once completed, it will offer educational rooms, a meeting area, an animal kitchen, and a library. Thousands of guests, students and adults are expected to go through the building or use it for special events.”Pepe” the zoo’s three banded armadillo was part of the event, digging in a sand box to simulate the start of the project. He was joined by Daniel Dreier the grandson of Chad and Ginni Dreier, long time donors to the zoo.”There you go, alright,” said Zoo CEO Rich Block in front of a large crowd. “This morning we are celebrating the end of 30 years of getting to this point and the beginning of a process that we think will take about a year,” said Block. Fundraising is nearly complete on the project. Zoo officials say they need about a million dollars more and asked the public to help with a donation. “We are finally going to have a facility that matches the quality of our education programs,” said Nancy McToldridge, zoo director. “The Santa Barbara Zoo was built with the love of the community. This project proves that more than any other project we’ve undertaken.” said McToldridge.KEY News Senior Reporter John Palminteri has our story.
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