If you’ve been to the San Antonio Zoo recently you’ve seen the construction zone around the entrance but if you’re wondering what’s going on in there — we’ve got a sneak peek at what’s to come.
Video of what the new San Antonio Zoo entrance will look like can be seen in the media player at the top of this article and it’s a complete overhaul of the previous entrance.
The design shows large gorilla statues, dozens of butterfly sculptures known as the butterfly gateway and mosaic art.
The gorilla statues are a nod to the zoo’s $15 million Congo Falls project, which will bring one of the largest gorilla habitats in the U.S. to the Alamo City.
“Visitors will soon be immersed in the sights, sounds, and rich culture of the beloved city with art created by local artists,” zoo officials said in a press release.
There will be a new gift shop and rooftop event space as well as an entrance designated specifically for school groups.
“Better pedestrian and traffic flow, and easier accessibility for those with disabilities are included in this project,” officials said.
San Antonio Zoo president and CEO Tim Morrow previously described the old entrance as “outdated, uninspiring, and operationally challenging.”
“We are looking to create an experience at our entrance that better represents our city, our zoo, and creates an exciting sense of arrival.”
Electronic ticketing kiosks will also be added to the zoo parking garage and the Zoo’s Train Depot/Starbucks plaza to create more purchasing opportunities and reduce lines and waits.
Other projects in the works include a renovation and repurposing of the historic monkey house and surrounding grounds. Once the building is remodeled, it will house a café, stroller rental/sundry counter, and large, fully accessible restrooms with an adult changing table.
The entrance is set to open later this year, followed by the return of gorillas in the near future.