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Interface Consruction Completes Phase III of River's Edge at St. Louis Zoo

ST. LOUIS, Jan.28, 2001 - Interface Construction Corp. has completed construction of Phase III of River's Edge at the St. Louis Zoo. The exhibit, which transforms the western part of the zoo into a journey through different parts of the world, will open to the public in April 2002.

Located on the four-acre site of the former elephant house, Phase III of River's Edge includes eight buildings that house life support systems and animals, heated dens, canyons, waterfalls and fog-makers. This section of River's Edge features an Amazon Backwater with capybaras, bush dogs and giant anteaters; a Rhino Reserve and research facility that showcases the black rhino, one of the most critically endangered species; a colony of carmine bee-eaters; warthogs; and Hippo Harbor, an underwater exhibit at which visitors can watch the giant animals swim. Phase III ties together the earlier phases of River's Edge-the Children's Zoo (Phase I) and the Insectarium, banquet center, elephant home, and Missouri stream and aquarium exhibit (Phase II)-by allowing visitors to stroll through the canyon, along the river's edge, under a waterfall, through two continents and back to Missouri.

Unlike typical commercial building projects, the goal of this project was to create buildings that blended into the background, keeping the focus on the animals. In order to achieve this, the design team extensively studied animal habitats and ultimately created exhibits that successfully evoke the natural habitats of the animals. Extensive landscaping was required to camouflage the buildings, and electrical and water lines were laid extra deep to prevent interference with the animals' daily lives. In addition, all work was completed in close proximity to zoo visitors and the Zoo Line railroad, requiring extra safety precautions. Despite these challenges, Interface reported no lost work due to safety issues.

"At the Zoo, we were able to take traditional construction methods and create something very non-traditional," said Gerard Hutchinson, Interface's manager of business development. "It was rewarding for us to participate in a project that contributes to the growth and prestige of St. Louis."

One of only three free zoos in the country, the St. Louis Zoo is ranked among the "Best Zoos Coast to Coast" by Family Fun Magazine and as "One of America's Top Ten Zoos" by Travel & Leisure Magazine.

Interface's team included Mike Bertelsmann, superintendent; Carl Turek, project manager; Nicholas Gardner, Project Engineer. Joining Interface on the project are David Mason & Associates, architect and civil, structural and geotechnical engineer, and William Tao & Associates, mechanical and electrical engineer. Major subcontractors include Corrigan Co., mechanical; Aschinger Electric, electrical; Leonard Masonry, masonry; A Thru Z Consulting and Distributing; Aalco Wrecking; Allied Waterproofing Co.; Animal Restraint Co.; BCI Corp.; Brees Studio; CJC Landscaping and Retaining Wall Co.; Collins & Hermann; County Asphalt Paving; Desco Systems; EME; Fabri-Tech Sheet Metal; Glen Alspaugh Co.; Grinnell Fire Protection Systems; H & G Sales; Lobo Painting; M J Products; Munie Outdoor Systems; Murray Enterprises; Old Style Roofing Co.; Osborne Roofing Co.; Phillips Co.; Roberts Loading Dock Equipment Co.; Roofer's Mart, Inc.; Scally Waterproofing Co.; Select Steel Service, Inc.; Town and Country Grading, Inc.; Vee-Jay Cement Contracting Co.; and Weber Fire & Safety Equipment Co.

For more information, contact Donna Erbs at
314/569-7100 (office)
314/750-1507 (cell) or
Interface Construction