The Palo Alto City Council approved $1 million in funding for the new Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo (JMZ) to help the Friends of the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo (Friends) include two exciting features in the new facility. In addition to the $25 million previously raised by the Friends, the City and the Friends will jointly raise an additional $2 million for a Tree House Fort and netting to cover the zoo. The Tree House Fort will add a children’s climbing experience, and the netting will provide an open environment for patrons to interact directly with the zoo animals.
Due to rising construction costs, the recently raised $25 million to rebuild the Junior Museum & Zoo was not sufficient to preserve all the new elements of the new facility. Fortunately, the City and the Friends working together will preserve exciting program elements that will be enjoyed by the community for generations.
Aletha Coleman, the Friends’ Board President, says, “We are grateful for the City Council’s support, which will help us complete construction on time and on budget, and we are excited to plan for groundbreaking.” The current architectural designs and a project timeline can be found on the Friends’ website.
The new Junior Museum & Zoo is expected to be under construction for 18 months, and will open in summer 2020. Children and their parents will enjoy safer access in the new JMZ, as well as improved facilities and increased access for visitors of all abilities. The new building will be modernized while retaining the kid-friendly and intimate qualities of the current facility, providing even more educational experiences that are uniquely valuable to children.