$15.6 million headed to Brookfield Zoo for repairs
January 10, 2010 (BROOKFIELD, Ill.) (WLS) -- Brookfield Zoo is to receive $15.6 million in state money to help pay for repairs and updates to its buildings and exhibits.
Gov. Pat Quinn on Sunday announced the capital funding, which is part of a state job creation initiative. Brookfield Zoo is owned by the Forest Preserve District of Cook County and is managed by the Chicago Zoological Society.
"The Chicago Zoological Society will be positioned to create ljobs, avert layoffs and fully support our conservation and education mission," President Dr. Stuart Strahl told ABC7 Chicago.
The governor's office says the money will be used to repair the zoo's electrical, sanitary and structural systems, among other efforts. Quinn says the funding will "create jobs and help ensure that one of our top tourist attractions keeps people coming to Illinois."
The zoo opened in the western Chicago suburb of Brookfield in 1934 and covers more than 200 acres. It reportedly had 2.2 million visitors last year, making it the state's most popular cultural attraction.
On the Net: www.brookfieldzoo.org
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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