CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is getting an upgrade after receiving a $3 million gift from the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Supporting Foundation. It’s the largest single gift ever secured by the Cleveland Zoological Society.
The money will be used to renovate the zoo’s 57-year-old administration building and to “enhance education opportunities through the addition of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Auditorium.” The new auditorium will serve as a large meeting space and hub for education and conservation-based programming, zoo officials announced Tuesday morning.
“We are so thankful for the vision of Mort Mandel and the Mandel Foundation that will provide exceptional spaces for our guests, our donors, and our staff and bring our administrative facility into a new era,” said Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Executive Director Dr. Chris Kuhar. “This building is the first one you see upon entering the Zoo, and will be the hub for our guest and member services teams, allowing us to better serve those who walk through our gates.”
Zoo officials say the renovation will also provide a new Guest Services hub, conferences rooms and rental space.
“The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo administration building was dedicated in 1964,” zoo officials explained. “Today, the building serves as the primary office space for staff of the Zoo and Zoo Society, as well as guest and event space for members, donors and guests. The renovation will provide needed updates to the staff office areas, add additional rental space and better separate the building between public areas and office space. The new guest services hub will improve the guest experience and serve as a one-stop-shop for a variety of guests questions and needs.”
Editor's note: Video in the player above was originally published April 14, 2021.