Living Planet Aquarium coming to Draper
Living Planet Aquarium set to grow in Draper
Representatives for the Living Planet Aquarium are seeking to expand their facility by constructing a new building in Draper.
At the end of September, Living Planet Aquarium Operator Brent Anderson presented information on plans to build a new, 90,000-square-foot facility to city officials during a Draper City Council meeting.
Anderson said the plan is to build a “world-class facility” just north of 12300 South near I-15, neighboring the Edwards Life Sciences building at 12050 Lone Peak Parkway.
Currently, the Living Planet Aquarium is located at 10600 South 725 East in Sandy. The aquarium facility features 1250 animals and 267 species of sea life in three exhibits called Discover Utah, Ocean Explorer and Journey to South America.
Although the Living Planet Aquarium charges general admission fees, the fees support work as a nonprofit organization.
The aquarium conducts educational outreach programs to raise awareness of ocean ecosystems and provides free outreach public school programs, on-site field trips for school groups, a teacher professional development program and other public learning-based programs.
Draper City Councilmember Jeff Stenquist said a new aquarium facility would be a welcome addition to the local community. He said the aquarium is a wonderful amenity with the potential to become a major destination spot for visitors to the state and would encourage further economic development locally.
“There’s enough property there that we expect other businesses to pop up next to [the aquarium],” Stenquist said.
City officials are working closely with Living Planet Aquarium representatives to help encourage construction of the new, larger facility in Draper.
The aquarium has already secured state funding and raised about $17 million of the $18.5 million needed to complete the new facility in Draper.
To build the new aquarium facility, a soils analysis study must be completed at the Draper site and then the organization will begin the process to finance the construction.
Stenquist said the funding process is not yet complete, but that the city would continue to work with Living Planet Aquarium officials to support their progress.
Anderson said if all goes according to plan, the official groundbreaking of the new Living Planet Aquarium facility in Draper could be as early as April.