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Zoo Quarantine Building Comes in Over Bid, Exec. Director Search Nearing End
Zoo Quarantine Building Comes in Over Bid, Exec. Director Search Nearing End

The Henson Robinson Zoo is moving forward with plans to build a new Quarantine Building… at least it’s trying to.

The problem? It costs too much… about $20,000 too much. Springfield Park Board President Leslie Sgro is frustrated.

“We’re doing everything we can on the front end to try to get it to the number, or as close to the number, that we budgeted as we can,” says Sgro. “Then obviously the ripple effects throughout the district are minimized.”

It’s a must to have the building for the zoo to receive accreditation from the National Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

The lowest bid received was $145,000 and the district budgeted $125,000. The Springfield Park District plans to see if the architect could do a respecification of the project, although that itself could cost a few thousand dollars.

Search for Executive Director Nearing Conclusion

The list of applicants to run the Henson Robinson Zoo will soon be dwindled down to a select few.

Currently there are several applicants “on hand” according to Springfield Park District Director of Finance and Human Resources Mark Bartolozzi. At the end of this week it is expected that the search committee will recommend three of four finalists and make a final decision.

The Board of Trustees does not have a hand in the hiring process.

The district is seeking a new executive director after Talon Thornton stepped down in April after 18 years as director.