Earlier today, construction crews at the Texas State Aquarium installed what will be the main acrylic viewing window for the H-E-B Caribbean Shark exhibit in the Aquarium's 70,000-square foot, $55 million Caribbean Journey expansion that is scheduled to open in the spring of 2017. According to officials at Reynolds Polymer Tech of Grand Junction, Colorado, which manufactured the panel, at 68 feet, it is the longest aquarium acrylic window in the nation.
The 759-square feet acrylic panel, weighing in at 42,000 pounds, is nine inches thick and comprised of eight chemically bonded panels.
"This is the first of four acrylic components that will be installed over the next several days. In addition to the main viewing window, three demi-tunnel sections that measure a combined 118 feet in length will be placed along the back perimeter of the 400,000 gallon habitat. These panels will provide amazing viewing opportunities for our guests, and the configuration of the panels is unique among major aquaria. We know that our guests are fascinated by sharks; our goal with this exhibition is to turn that fascination into action and help support shark conservation measures that will keep populations of these apex predators healthy."
The H-E-B Caribbean Shark exhibit will feature over a dozen large sharks and hundreds of marine fish, and will be the centerpiece for the new Caribbean Journey program.
"With the structural work largely complete, excitement for our Caribbean Journey expansion continues to build," explained Aquarium President and CEO Tom Schmid, who continued, "Having the longest aquarium acrylic window in the nation installed today was a major milestone in this project. A big thanks goes out to H-E-B for supporting our mission and helping make this transformative expansion possible."
Texas State Aquarium--Connecting people with nature and inspiring conservation of the Gulf of Mexico.
The Aquarium is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and a member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums.