Roaring Success: TSG to Bring New Exhibit to Turtle Back Zoo
January 4, 2017
The Shauger Group, Inc. (TSG) is in the process of constructing another unique animal exhibit at the Essex County Turtle Back Zoo: the Ronald J. Mount Lion and Hyena Exhibit. The lion and hyena exhibit, which will be located in the African Adventure Exhibit near the Giraffe House, is set to open in the spring of 2017.
TSG was awarded the contract on October 6, 2016, after TSG was determined to be the lowest responsible responsive bidder on the publicly bid project. The County of Essex announced the project to the public at a press conference held on October 26, 2016.
The exhibit, which will cover nearly half an acre, will feature a two-foot decorative gunite pool. TSG will build three separate viewing stations, which will offer unobstructed views of the animals in the exhibit. The exhibit, which was designed by French & Parrello, also calls for an exposed rock formation, a heated patio, and a heated one-story structure that will resemble a North African fortress “that has been returned to the wild.”
The exhibit will contain stone and concrete driveways, as well as an 8,050-square-foot stamped concrete sidewalk. The exhibit will also be accentuated with decorative columns, planters, and swing gates.
TSG commenced work in October, immediately after receiving the County’s notice to proceed on the exhibit. TSG’s first steps of the project included demolition, site clearing, grading, drainage, and footing installation, as well as necessary soil erosion and sediment control measures. The scope of work also includes caging and generator installation; mechanical, electrical, and plumbing work; and final site fencing and landscaping finishes.
The arrival of the lions at the exhibit will have particularly symbolic significance for the County of Essex, as the County’s emblematic seal features a lion as its focal point.
The exhibit has been named after the late Ronald J. Mount, a longtime supporter of the Turtle Back Zoo and the founder of the Ronald J. Mount Educational Foundation, which provides educational opportunities and support for individuals in need. Mount, a former trustee of the Zoological Society of New Jersey, gave many years of dedicated service to the Turtle Back Zoo: he served as a volunteer with the zoo’s Docent program, which specifically trains volunteers to give educational talks, serve as zoo guides, and offer visitors information to enhance guests’ experiences at the zoo. Mount also played a role in bringing past exhibits, including the black bear exhibit, to the zoo. Additionally, Mount, who was an honoree at the Turtle Back Zoo 50th anniversary gala, formerly held the position of president of the Board of Education in Millburn.
“It is always an honor for us to put our team to work in Essex County and to help enrich the offerings at the Turtle Back Zoo,” said Lisa Shauger, president/CEO of TSG. “The Ronald J. Mount Lion and Hyena Exhibit will bring great educational value and will leave a lasting impression on young children who visit the zoo. It is our pleasure to work on this great project, to put Essex County residents to work, and to make a difference in the Essex County community.”