A project that finished on time and on budget? Now that’s something to celebrate!
To recognize the timely repayment of a loan from the City, the Seattle Aquarium Society recently presented a check for $1.45 million to Mayor Ed Murray. This was the final payment for the bridge financing of $5.2 million for the 2005–2007 New Currents Aquarium expansion project. The arrangement was part of a $42 million public/private partnership that restored the structural integrity of historic Pier 59 and expanded the Aquarium exhibit and public spaces by 30 percent.
Congratulations and thanks to the Aquarium Society campaign, chaired by Ted Ackerley and Stuart Rolfe, which raised $20 million of the project costs. With the addition of a new entrance on Alaskan Way, major new exhibits and a café, as well as expansion of the gift shop and evening event facilities, the successful project helped increase Seattle Aquarium attendance to 800,000 visitors per year and secure its place in the top 10 aquariums in the nation by attendance.
Pictured left to right: Seattle Aquarium President & CEO Robert W. Davidson, Deputy Parks Superintendent Christopher Williams, past Aquarium Board Chair and Campaign Co-Chair Ted Ackerley, Aquarium Director of Finance & Administration Ryan Dean, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and Parks Superintendent Jesus Aguirre.