ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Construction on some of the new exhibits at the Albuquerque BioPark is being pushed back, because of inflation and shipping delays.
Stephanie Stowell is the director of the Albuquerque BioPark. She says the zoo has been impacted by the economy just like the rest of the country.
“We have seen some impacts related to supply chain concerns that have caused our contractors to have to kind of look at the scheduling of construction and shifting the schedule a bit to allow for this anticipated supply chain concerns,” says Stowell.
Construction projects at the BioPark are funded by a gross receipts tax approved by voters in 2016.
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The money has already helped the zoo build a new elephant observation deck, improve irrigation lines, and replace the roofs on multiple exhibits. However, with current supply chain issues, the zoo says they’ve had to push the deadline back a few months for two of their biggest projects- the Australia and Asia exhibits.
For example, HVAC units originally chosen for the new exhibits aren’t available, so the zoo says the replacements could take nine months to arrive. They say the current economy has also made construction more expensive.
“Right now, as we reflect and project forward, and we get project costs, those costs are going up, it simply means we’re likely going to be doing slightly less with the with that money than we would be able to do prior to inflation issues becoming a concern,” says Stowell.
Construction isn’t the only thing at the biopark impacted by the economy. They say some of the costs of food for the animals has also gone up, including hay which has increased fifty-five percent. A lack of access to the specific fish for the penguins, has them supplementing with another type of fish.
The Asia exhibit is slated to open in late spring 2023. The BioPark has had to move the Australia project into phases. The first phase is scheduled to open in February or March.