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National Aquarium taps two Baltimore firms to design new animal care center

The National Aquarium said it will work with Baltimore-based firms Design Collective and Plano-Coudon to design and build the planned Animal Care and Rescue Center in Baltimore's Jonestown neighborhood north of the Inner Harbor.

The facility at 901 East Fayette Street will focus on care of current and future animals and rescue operations. The 50,000-square-foot property will be renovated over the next 18 months and open in 2018, with funding from the aquarium, public and private sources and fund raising.

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It will replace a 22-year-old center in Fells Point that handles animal care and quarantine, animal rescue and rehabilitation and exhibit fabrication.

Design Collective also worked on the aquarium's Living Seashore display and its Harbor Market Kitchen and will lead architectural design. Plano-Coudon will manage construction, including all subcontractors.

Besides providing space for animal care, the center will help revitalize the historic neighborhood, said Jacqueline Bershad, the aquarium's vice president of planning and design.

The aquarium hopes to create ways for visitors to better understand the work of the animal rescue team, the animal quarantine process and the art of exhibit fabrication.

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