ZOO ATLANTA BEGINS CONSTRUCTION ON VETERINARY COMPLEX
The Rollins Animal Health Center will be a new center of excellence for veterinary care, technology, and scientific collaboration
ATLANTA – July 28, 2023 – In its newest phase of transformation, Zoo Atlanta has begun construction on a new veterinary complex that will redefine standards of excellence in zoo animal medicine, state-of-the-art technology, research, and academic partnerships. In recognition of The Gary W. Rollins Foundation’s generous investment of $3 million in the project and long history of Zoo support, the facility will be named The Rollins Animal Health Center.
President and CEO Raymond B. King announced the complex’s name at a ceremonial groundbreaking at the construction site on July 27, 2023, with special remarks from Honorary Capital Campaign Chair Mayor Andre Dickens.
Prior to beginning construction, Zoo Atlanta had already raised nearly $21 million toward a $22 million goal for the Care, Conserve, Connect capital campaign – a notable demonstration of support from the philanthropic community. In addition to the gift from The Gary W. Rollins Foundation, donations of $1 million or more include gifts from Lettie Pate Evans Foundation; Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation; A Friend of the Zoo; The Marcus Foundation; The Sara Giles Moore Foundation; and The Zeist Foundation.
“The Zoo Atlanta Veterinary Team daily provides care for animals representing more than 200 species, from elephants to frogs, and this care is never compromised,” King said. “The Rollins Animal Health Center will replace outdated facilities and enable the Zoo to fully inhabit its growing reputation for excellence in veterinary care. We are deeply grateful to the members of our philanthropic community, who have shown us by their gifts that they have a strong investment in Zoo Atlanta’s indelible place in Atlanta and beyond.”
The Rollins Animal Health Center will be a dramatically enhanced replacement for the Zoo’s existing veterinary facilities, which in recent years have been significantly outstripped and outclassed by not only the Zoo’s world-class Veterinary Team, but also the outstanding commitment and groundbreaking work that are hallmarks of its veterinary program.
Features will include dedicated laboratory, pharmacy, radiology, treatment, and surgical spaces; a CT scanner; interior and exterior animal holding dens and a food preparation kitchen; five animal quarantine dens with dedicated care team member access and dedicated food preparation areas; and office and conference space for the Veterinary Team. The facility will also include a necropsy suite. A second floor will feature two dorm rooms, restrooms and laboratory working space in the event Veterinary Team members need to stay overnight or are hosting visiting colleagues or students. Thanks to enhanced technology, Zoo Atlanta looks forward to remote learning capabilities not previously possible with its veterinary program.
The project’s Joint General Contractors are Turner Construction Company and FS360, with architectural design by Torre Design Consortium, Ltd. The complex has a built-in goal of achieving a LEED Certification of Silver or Gold. Construction is expected to be completed by summer 2024.
The Rollins Animal Health Center will also notably expand Zoo Atlanta’s capabilities for research; professional externship and internship opportunities; and other collaborations with academic partners across the state of Georgia. The Zoo’s academic partners include Agnes Scott College; Emory University; Georgia Institute of Technology; Georgia State University; Kennesaw State University; Morehouse College; The University of Georgia; University of North Georgia; Gwinnett Technical College; and Fort Valley State University.
Learn more about Zoo Atlanta’s mission, animals, and programs at zooatlanta.org.
Access the password-protected file below for photos and footage of the ceremonial groundbreaking and remarks; renderings of The Rollins Animal Health Center; drone footage of the construction site; and video comments from Sam Rivera, DVM, Vice President of Animal Health.
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About Zoo Atlanta
A proud accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the gold standard for animal care and welfare, Zoo Atlanta has a mission to save wildlife and their habitats through conservation, research, education, and engaging experiences. The Zoo is home to more than 1,000 animals representing more than 200 species from around the world, many of them endangered or critically endangered. Highlights include giant pandas, including Ya Lun and Xi Lun, the only giant panda twins in the U.S.; one of North America’s largest zoological populations of great apes; and a global center of excellence for the care and study of reptiles and amphibians. Recent transformations include the African Savanna, featuring new and expanded habitats for African elephants, giraffes, zebras, ostriches, bontebok, warthogs, meerkats and rhinos; Savanna Hall, a state-of-the-art special event destination in the newly restored historic former home of the Atlanta Cyclorama; and the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation Plaza. For more information, visit zooatlanta.org.