published on May 18, 2016 - 12:42 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

The board of directors of the nonprofit Aquarius Aquarium Institute announced the organization will hold an official groundbreaking ceremony to mark the beginning of construction of the Fresno Aquarium’s first structure — the Aquaculture Building.

Construction of the Fresno Aquarium’s new structure is the first step in a plan to build a state-of-the-art public aquarium.

The groundbreaking will take place at 10 a.m. on May 25 at the Fresno Aquarium site along Highway 99, just north of W. Herndon Ave. and N. Parkway Drive, overlooking the San Joaquin River.

The ceremony will honor Roy and Betty Jura, the donors of the Fresno Aquarium’s property.

Mark Sutton, superintendent of Central Unified School District, Rick Watson, CEO of the Center for Advanced Research and Technology (CART) serving both Fresno and Clovis Unified School Districts, representatives from the County of Fresno Administrator’s Office, Rep. Jim Costa’s office, state Senator Tom Berryhill’s office, Assemblyman Jim Patterson’s office and other dignitaries will attend the ceremony.

Tom Lang, executive director of the Institute, said, “This first ‘nursery’ building will allow our nonprofit Institute to begin the exciting process of receiving, quarantining and growing out both freshwater and saltwater fish as well as other aquatic life. These animals will constitute the very beginnings of the collection that will live at the Fresno Aquarium into the future.”

Lang said the Fresno Aquarium’s From the Ground Up capital campaign has sold more than 1,500 concrete blocks for a total of $268,200.00 raised for the Aquaculture Building and its associated infrastructure.

“The community will absolutely need to continue its support of the Fresno Aquarium with donations, sponsorships, in-kind contributions and Charter Memberships in order for Fresno to have a sustainable Aquarium and debt-free operation going forward,” said Aletha Lang, the Institute’s board chair.

Due to limited access on the construction site, the groundbreaking ceremony is limited to invited guests and media only.

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