Zoo gets $1M for lodge

By JUSTIN GEORGE, Times Staff Writer
Published December 6, 2007

TAMPA - Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo announced a $1-million contribution from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation Wednesday to build a 17,000-square-foot Safari Lodge.

Zoo officials hope the $4.5-million building, the cornerstone of Lowry Park's 11-acre Safari Africa habitat, will attract business meetings and conventions and add income for the nonprofit zoo. The lodge's great hall could house about 400 people.

Zoo officials still need $2-million for the project, which they hope to complete by 2009, when Tampa hosts the Super Bowl.

The 23-foot-tall building's architecture will representdifferent parts of South Africa. Inside, it will resemble the courtyard of an African village. It will be beside the Africa exhibit's Swazi Plaza area, which was completed in 2004, and sit near endangered animal habitats for cheetahs, okapis and pygmy hippopotamuses.

Justin George, Times staff writer