Monroe County and Landmark Society officials were among those helping break ground for a major renovation project Tuesday at the Seneca Park Zoo.
County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo and others held the ceremonial shovels to mark the start of construction on the first phase of the zoo’s master plan improvements.
This phase includes an African savanna exhibit, featuring giraffes, zebras, rhinos and ostriches; a Cold Asia exhibit, featuring snow leopard and red panda, and a passenger tram with on-off stations at the south and north ends of the zoo.
The first phase of the project is expected to take 13 months to complete with an anticipated summer 2018 opening.
Dinolfo says the county's $13.5 million investment will create more than 200 construction jobs and overall, will contribute to the community's quality of life.
The project is a public-private venture and will be funded by Monroe County and the Seneca Park Zoo Society.
The first phase of improvements will conclude with the demolition of the main zoo building, which officials say is crucial to the zoo’s continued accreditation.