CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Texas State Aquarium's new wildlife rescue center is still under construction as its grand opening is now just a month and a half away.
3NEWS was able to take a tour of the brand new facility. Visitors will be able to see all kinds of things, such as surgery, CT scans and turtles being rehabilitated.
TSA President and CEO Jesse Gilbert said the new facility is 26,000 ft. Right now, the aquarium's current rescue center is a very cramped 5,000 ft.
"We don't occupy the first floor of any of the assets of the aquarium. This is for the 100 year flood plain in the event of a storm," he said.
Throughout the facility, workers could be seen working to finish the building in time for it's grand opening on March 2. Eventually, the rescue center will be able to house 3000 cold stunned turtles.
"This is our marine mammal rehabilitation area. So, this is about 110,000 gallon pool system that we can house injured, marine mammals," he said.
The facility will be free and open for everyone to get an eye full of what goes on at the TSA.
"This window is looking into our CT scanner so this will be the only CT scanner, dedicated to wildlife in the state of Texas," he said.
With so much going into the new facility, TSA Projects and Exhibits Manager Kara Hahn said the March 2. deadline is hard-set.
"This building will definitely be ready by March 2. We will ensure that. We're all working together to make sure that definitely happens," she said.
Finally, the entire top floor of the facility is dedicated as a lab for marine research. An important part of the $14 million Port of Corpus Christi Center for Wildlife Rescue. A project that 3NEWS was told is on budget and on time.
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