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Loveland Living Planet Aquarium Acquires Iconic Structure to Crown its Science Learning Campus Expansion

Loveland Living Planet Aquarium Acquires Iconic Structure to Crown its Science Learning Campus Expansion

Former U2 Stage, The Claw, to Become a Permanent Utah Landmark

PR Newswire

DRAPER, Utah, April 10, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — A 165-foot tall feat of structural engineering will soon call the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium (LLPA) its new, permanent home. The Aquarium is acquiring The Claw, an impressive architectural structure that will crown the nonprofit’s forthcoming nine-acre Science Learning Campus expansion.

Previously, The Claw served as the stage for U2′s renowned 360° Tour from 2009-2011. After traveling to 30 countries around the globe and being marveled at by more than 7.2 million people, it will soon be preserved and sustainably repurposed as a Utah landmark and symbol of science exploration and learning. One of two remaining structures, this will be the only Claw in the United States.

“We are excited to bring this iconic monument to its permanent home in Utah,” said Brent Andersen, LLPA’s Founder & CEO, and a marine biologist. “Ultimately, we’re creating an engaging and interactive and aesthetically exciting experience, that’s also educational. Numerous studies have shown that people are more receptive to learning when they are in a state of wonder or fascination. Most cultural institutions, whether they are commissioning sculptures or adding design elements to their buildings or exhibitions, are doing it for the purpose of creating a richer experience for the guest.”

In addition to The Claw, the Science Learning Campus will boast an 80,000 square-foot Science Learning Center that will provide immersive experiences that encourage guests to learn about our natural world and understand the need for conservation of our living planet. These experiences include a five-story Asian Cloud Forest Habitat & Endangered Species Conservation Center, interactive science stations, new indoor and outdoor animal exhibits, and high-tech laboratories and classrooms.

The Center will also include a Science Entrepreneur Incubator and a banquet and conference center to serve the Wasatch Region including Salt Lake, Utah, and Davis Counties.

“Since the 360° Tour concluded in 2011, we’ve been vetting potential sites for the permanent placement of The Claw,” said Craig Evans, U2 Tour Director. “It’s bittersweet to see it go, but we are pleased it’s going to enhance the mission and vision of Loveland Living Planet Aquarium as part of its expanded campus.”

The Aquarium is planning a variety of events to take place in the plaza area underneath The Claw, which will feature 7,000-seat and 350-seat outdoor venues. This community gathering space will come alive with special events, festivals, movies in the park, imaginative play areas, and much more.

Underground, beneath The Claw’s stage, a highly detailed thematic experience called the Eco Command Center will combine elements from escape rooms, simulators, and team building activities. Through digital content and Virtual Reality technology, explorers will embark on science and ecology-based eco-missions around the globe, ranging from deep oceans and rain forests to deserts and Arctic regions, requiring real science practices and teamwork to successfully complete the missions.

The Science Learning Campus will support the Aquarium’s robust educational offerings to the community. The Aquarium conducts educational outreach and has established learning programs in every public elementary school in the state of Utah, offering 83,000 off site student experiences each year. On site, the Aquarium provides an additional 81,000 student experiences yearly through field trips.

Similarly, LLPA educates hundreds of thousands of guests on site annually about biodiversity and conservation of ocean ecosystems in the landlocked state of Utah, connecting them to wildlife they may never have a chance to interact with otherwise. Home to more than 4,000 animals representing 625 species living and thriving within five unique habitats, the Aquarium welcomed 830,000 guests in 2017 and continues to grow attendance every year.

The Aquarium is raising $25 million to create the entire Science Learning Campus. Construction is slated to begin this Fall.

For those interested in learning how they can help support this effort, visit Expansion.TheLivingPlanet.com or make a donation at GoFundMe.com/LivingPlanetAquarium.

For naming and sponsorship opportunities, please contact development@thelivingplanet.com.

The Claw at a glance:

  • Height: 165 feet – as tall as 60 Gentoo penguins stacked one on top of another
  • Weight: 190 tons – as heavy as six Humpback whales
  • Area: 28,287 square feet – 78 times more area than the wingspan of a 19-foot Manta ray
  • Strength: Supports up to 200 tons – the weight of 10 Whale sharks
  • Built from: 42 truckloads of steel

About Loveland Living Planet Aquarium
LLPA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to inspire people to Explore, Discover, and Learn about Earth’s diverse ecosystems. A world-class facility, LLPA provides learning opportunities at all levels, interests, and ages. Since opening its new facility in Draper in March 2014, the Aquarium has welcomed more than 3.5 million visitors.
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SOURCE Loveland Living Planet Aquarium

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