Delmarva Veteran Builders, the region’s only commercial construction firm dedicated to bringing employment to U.S. Armed Forces Veterans, announced it has been hired build the new William E. Morgan Conservation Center at the Salisbury Zoo.

The 1,300 square foot building will include a customized fiberglass enclosed reptile exhibit and outside space for zoo docents and classroom activities.  The interior will provide storage and food prep space for zoo animals.  The structure’s second floor will also be equipped with additional storage space.

“We are excited the Zoo has confidence in Delmarva Veteran Builders to rebuild what is an iconic structure in our community,” said Chris Eccleston, Delmarva Veteran Builders.  “We are excited to be working with a team of architects from Becker Morgan who have designed the building to accommodate zoo attendance and provide an area for zoo staff to better serve the animals.”

“When people come to the zoo they want to see reptiles,” said Ralph Piland, Salisbury Zoo director.  “The building will fulfill that expectation.  And one of the best parts is that it will not cost taxpayers or the city anything.”

“We have worked with DVB before and found the team to be very accommodating,” said Ron Alessi, Salisbury Zoo Commission member.  “They offered in-kind services and did a great job on all past projects.  They understand the process and what we need.  They are good people and it just seemed like the right fit.”

“The Delmarva Zoological Society (DZS) is thrilled to see the money raised as part of our capital campaign efforts, be put to good use,” said Ashley Bosche, DZS president.  “From the Wallaby exhibit to the Animal Health Clinic and now a new conservation/visitor’s center, our community should be proud of being a part of Renewing the Salisbury Zoo.”

A Little History behind the Building

In the 1970’s the original A frame structure was a baby animal barn. The doors opened to the outdoors with pens for the baby animals and a viewing area for zoo visitors.  At one time the baby animal barn was home to “Ollie,” a baby elephant from Thailand.  In 1980 the building was remodeled into the William Morgan Visitor’s Center with a gift shop, meeting room and space for educational programs.

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