From the Ground Up: Fishing Heritage Center

August 4, 2014



500 W. Sunshine St.

Brian Brown

From the Ground Up: Fishing Heritage CenterOwner/developer: The Johnny Morris Foundation 
General contractor: Whiting-Turner Contracting Co.  
Architects:  Michael Oleksak (Boston), Butler, Rosenbury & Partners Inc. and Torgerson Design Partners
Engineers: Heithaus Engineering & Associates Inc., civil; Mettemeyer Engineering, structural; Smith-Goth Engineers Inc., mechanical, electrical and plumbing
Size: 60,000 square feet
Estimated cost: $5.7 million
Lender: None
Estimated completion date: May
Project description: The Fishing Heritage Center is part of the final two phases of the more than $80 million Wonders of Wildlife museum project, which will be known as the National Hunting and Fishing Heritage Center and Aquarium, said Mickey Black, Bass Pro Shops general manager and Wonders of Wildlife operations director. Almost two-thirds of the 315,000-square-foot project by Bass Pro Shops founder John Morris, the aquarium and fishing center is designed with over 1 million gallons of aquatic exhibits and a mile of immersive walking paths, with interactive features such as shark and sting ray touch tanks and walk-through tanks, Black said. The final phase, opening in fall 2015 in the Wonders of Wildlife building, is the 50,000-square-foot Hunting Heritage Hall and Wildlife Galleries with displays from Ducks Unlimited, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the National Wild Turkey Federation. The $10 million first phase, the John A. and Genny Morris Conservation and Education Center was complete in 2012. The entire project, which Black said is comparable to the Museum of Natural History in New York, is estimated to create 1,500 construction jobs. It is funded by over $12 million in donations, a $30 million Bank of America loan backed by Morris and by Morris directly. The estimated cost on the fishing center is based on city building permits.