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Blank Park Zoo: Discovery Zone Testimonial

A letter from:
David Allen - Zoo Administrator
Blank Park Zoo

November 21, 2001



To Whom It May Concern:


Proctor Mechanical Corporation was a member of the Design/Build Team for the new Myron and Jackie Blank Discovery Center at the Blank Park Zoo, which opened to the public on September 1, 2001. Audience response has been tremendous, resulting in an increase in visitor attendance of 118%.


The new $6.7 million Discovery Center is a 29,000 sq. ft. multi-venue complex consisting of climatic exhibits ranging from a cold clime alpine biome to a 16,000 gallon Coral Reef Exhibit, Entrance Lobby, multiple meeting rooms, Café, animal and exhibit service areas, and education interactive displays. The Discovery Center theme is Water~The Web of Life.


As a design team member, Joe Proctor worked with the Zoo Administrator, architects, the General Contractor and the Electrical Contractor in the initial stages of design, which included visiting four selected zoological parks to research major tropical and aquatic exhibits and the complex life-support systems required to maintain them.


After construction began, the team met weekly to coordinate design and construction issues with a variety of specialty contractors and staff representing a vast array of disciplines, to include: artists, zoological and structural architects, artificial tree and rockwork fabricators, horticulturists, educators, animal care staff, exhibit specialists, interior decorators, civil engineers, and members of the Blank Park Zoo Foundation Planning and Design Committee. Often, there were 20 or more people participating in the meetings.

My role as Zoo Administrator was to provide oversight and guidance for the entire project. I soon learned that this was formidable task, due to fact that many of the thematic design features were new, which required innovative mechanical construction techniques for aquatic life support systems and the climatic special effects of ice, snow, mist, waterfalls, rushing streams, and an Amazon rain storm.

The entire staff of Proctor Mechanical was outstanding, providing leadership and solutions to complex issues of intergrading mechanical systems with the many other design elements.


Continuously throughout the project, Proctor Mechanical made design changes and altered construction methods to reach objectives for features that were, quite frankly, experimental. Their on-site technicians were courteous and industrious, and performed beyond expectations. The provided successful solutions and "re-worked" installations to insure owner satisfaction. It is obvious that all the people at Proctor Mechanical take great pride in the quality of their work.


Proctor Mechanical was instrumental in the successful execution of the Discovery Center theme. They provided leadership in all areas of project management - design, craftsmanship, construction scheduling, budgeting and safety. I highly recommend Proctor Mechanical for any project, no matter how complex the scope.





David Allen
Zoo Administrator

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