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Mayor Hancock and Denver Zoo Break Ground on New Animal Hospital

DENVER – ­ Mayor Michael B. Hancock today joined Denver Zoo President and CEO Bert Vescolani to break ground on the Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Animal Hospital. The new state-of-the-industry hospital will advance the Zoo’s ability to provide exceptional care for more than 3,500 animals who call the Zoo home. The 22,000 square foot facility, funded in part by the Elevate Denver Bond Program, encourages engagement and education, offering visitors an unprecedented look into the veterinary team’s daily work.

“This new animal hospital will be a testament to the qualities that have defined Denver Zoo for 123 years—innovation, collaboration and, most importantly, dedication to providing the best possible care for our animals,” Denver Zoo President and CEO Bert Vescolani said.

The Zoo is the most visited cultural destination in Colorado, and Denver residents have a rich history of engaging with the Zoo and encouraging global conservation initiatives.

“Our community continues to support the Zoo and all its endeavors, and today was made possible because the people of Denver spoke loud and clear when they overwhelmingly said yes to the Elevate Denver Bond Program in 2017,” Mayor Hancock said. “Culture, conservation and education matter here in Denver, and we’re delivering on the promise we made to our residents with this bond investment in the future Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Animal Hospital.”

The new hospital will house a world-class diagnostic laboratory, indoor and outdoor holding and quarantine spaces and state-of-the art treatment rooms and surgery suites. Equipped with the latest technology, the facility will be one of the only animal hospitals in the country with its own CT scanners. Its design includes considerations for noise, views and daylight to ensure animal comfort, and will be built to LEED Gold standards.

The veterinary team is currently set up in a temporary hospital onsite, where they will continue to serve over 550 species of animals until 2020, when the new hospital is expected to be complete.

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Elevate Denver is a 10-year, $937 million general obligation bond program, approved by voters in 2017, to enhance the City and County of Denver by providing critical improvements to the city’s infrastructure – improving roads and sidewalks, parks and recreation centers, libraries and safety facilities, cultural centers, Denver Health and public-owned buildings.