Changes are underway at the Greater Cleveland Aquarium, which is housed in the historic FirstEnergy Powerhouse on the West Bank of the Flats in downtown Cleveland.
Last fall, the aquarium started making renovation plans after parent company Jacobs Entertainment Inc. invested $250,000 into the attraction.
The improvements, which include bringing in about a dozen new species, plus upgrades to its galleries and breakout spaces, will span over 12 months — during which the aquarium will stay open.
With the first phase almost complete, visitors see upgrades to the Asia and Indonesia galleries, where they can find the Japanese Red Shady Maple Tree, constructed with in-house recycled material. Also, the Coastal Boardwalk is being upgraded to a traditional boardwalk where visitors can enjoy a day at the “beach.”
About a dozen new species will be on display — including Green Tree Python and Weedy Seadragon exhibits, which can be viewed beginning in early June.
The littlest ones and their parents will love the new Imaginarium, which will have a hands-on play space where kids can pretend they are aquarists, SCUBA divers and exhibit designers.
“It’s a free play gallery for kids,” says Tami Brown, the aquarium’s general manager and Splash Fund director. “We really wanted a free play spirit and have a more mission-specific experience.”
Upcoming renovations include changes to the Rainforest gallery, and the Industry and Habitats area, which dives into how animals and modern industry have an impact on each other.
The aquarium also will provide visitors with an opportunity to learn about conservation efforts and how to help the environment throughout the attraction’s exhibits.