Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and the Cleveland Zoological Society announced a $3 million gift from the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Foundation on Tuesday (5/18). It is the largest single gift ever received by the zoo.
The money will be used as a support fund to renovate the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s administration building. It will also be utilized to enhance educational opportunities through the construction of the new Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Auditorium that will serve as a meeting space and hub for educational and conservation-based programming.
Referring to the administration building, Executive Director Dr. Chris Kuhar said: "This building is the first one you see upon entering the Zoo and will be the hub for our guest and member services teams, allowing us to better serve those who walk through our gates."
The building has been used as the main office of the zoo and the society since 1964. The renovation will provide essential improvements to the staff office areas, add additional rental space, and separate the public spaces from the building's office.
To deliver a better experience for both the staff and the guests, renovations are also planned for the guest services hub, conference rooms, and the rental spaces. The renewal works will be focused on the office spaces, restrooms and reception areas.
Construction for both of the facilities is scheduled to begin in late 2021.
The Zoo Society provides Cleveland Metroparks Zoo with $3 million to support their operation and programs each year. Over the last 10 years, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and Cleveland Zoological Society have spent $35 million for complex animal habitats, including African Elephant Crossing, Rosebrough Tiger Passage, and the Daniel Maltz Rhino Reserve.