Elmwood Park Zoo Unveils New Animal Hospital and Welcome Center

Welcome Center FountainImage courtesy Elmwood Park Zoo

NORRISTOWN, PA — O’Donnell & Naccarato (O&N) celebrated the completion of the Elmwood Park Zoo’s new 39,000-square-foot animal hospital and welcome center this week. The project marks a significant milestone for the zoo as it celebrates its 100-year anniversary. This development is part of a three-phase plan aimed at transforming the Philadelphia-area landmark into a world-class zoological institution and expanding its 38-acre footprint.

O&N provided structural engineering design services for the three-story building. The new facility includes the 17,000 square-foot Frank & Paige Engro Veterinary Health Center, featuring state-of-the-art amenities such as a surgical suite, diagnostic lab, indoor and outdoor recovery wards, and an in-house pharmacy. Additionally, the building offers 8,000 square feet of administrative space above a newly designed entrance plaza with ticket windows, rest areas, and a gift shop.

“As a longtime supporter of the Elmwood Park Zoo, O&N is proud to contribute to this once-in-a-lifetime revitalization effort,” said Anthony Naccarato, Chairman & CEO of O&N. “With this incredible new facility, the Elmwood Park Zoo will continue to serve as a leading educational and cultural destination for its next 100 years.”

The building’s primary structural system uses composite steel-floor framing, steel braced frames, shallow foundations, and a steel-framed roof structure.

O&N collaborated with Charles Cross Architecture, the lead architect on the project. Barry Isett & Associates provided mechanical, electrical, and plumbing services, while Apex Design served as the civil engineer. Earth Engineering performed the geotechnical work, and INTECH Construction was the general contractor.

O&N has a history of delivering structural engineering services for specialty projects across the U.S. Notable projects include the three-acre Soundscape Park & ExoStage adjacent to the Frank Gehry-designed New World Center symphony hall in Miami Beach, Florida, a wellness center for the Humane Society for Hamilton County in Fishers, Indiana, and a production studio for Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, and Azamara cruise lines in North Miami, Florida.

The new animal hospital and welcome center at the Elmwood Park Zoo stand as a testament to the zoo’s commitment to animal care and public education, promising to enhance the visitor experience for years to come.

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