Mote Science Education Aquarium (Mote SEA) plans move forward

Mote Marine Laboratory has chosen a construction management team to build the Mote Science Education Aquarium (Mote SEA).

Mote SEA will be an 110,000-square-foot hub of marine science education and outreach located in Nathan Benderson Park, in Sarasota, Florida.

Willis A. Smith Construction and The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company will work with architect CambridgeSeven to build the attraction.

It will feature more than one million gallons of exhibits with marine life and scientific displays from around the world, and will have three state-of-the-art STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) teaching labs

“This is a significant step in our journey to create Mote SEA and realise its economic and societal benefits for the southwest Florida region and the State of Florida,” said Mote President and CEO Dr Michael P Crosby.

“Our Trustees, staff, supporters, and communities should be proud of all they’ve done to help us reach this point and excited that we will now be able to focus increasingly on the concrete details of creating this important and lasting cultural asset.”

“The new Mote Science Education Aquarium will become a landmark destination, not only for our local region, but also for the State of Florida, and it will be recognised worldwide once completed,” said John LaCivita, Executive Vice President of Willis Smith.

“During the construction phase, this project will be an economic driver to all of Southwest Florida, and it will have tremendous, annual economic impact to both counties, once open. Our team is ready to get started!”

The project will cost an estimated $130 million. $34 million has been raised through philanthropic donations.

Mote SEA is projected to double the attendance of the current Mote Aquarium, and expected to bring in an estimated $28 million a year from operations.

Mote hopes to break ground in late 2019 or early 2020, with a goal to complete in 2022.

Image: Mote Marine Laboratory