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BALTIMORE, MD-A $61.8 million expansion of the National Aquarium of Baltimore gets underway with a groundbreaking ceremony at the 21-year-old attraction on Pier Three of the city’s Inner Harbor area. The 65,000-sf addition is part of a massive seven-year expansion and upgrade of the state-of-the-art facility. Construction is scheduled to wrap up by March 2005.

The new addition will be a 12-story glass edifice at the front of the existing four-story building and will include a 60-ft waterfall–all designed by Chermayeff, Sollogub and Poole Inc., the architectural firm behind the original building. The Maryland Industrial Development Financing Authority is partially funding the development through the issuing of $34 million worth of bonds.

The National Aquarium is more than just a top attraction,” Gov. Parris N. Glendening said at the ceremony, “but it is a model of something just as important to all Marylanders–that combining economic growth and environmental protection can be successful.”

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