Greensboro Science Center to double the size of zoo

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Big plans are in the works for the Greensboro Science Center.

CEO Glenn Dobrogosz announced a $10 million capital campaign to fund an expansion over the entire center and double the size of the zoological park.

"It really is our attempt to be different -- to set Greensboro aside as an innovator in science-based tourism and also equally important to draw people to our community for economic development," Dobrogosz said.

The zoo will increase in size by 10 to 12 acres and will only include endangered species like the pygmy hippo, cassowary and forest giraffe.

"We picked special ones that have never been in North Carolina before and that need the help for breeding purposes but are also unique, colorful and most people have never even heard of," Dobrogosz said.

The center has already privately raised $8.3 million of the total $10 million needed for the project and is now looking for the community to help raise the remaining funds.

Dobrogosz says he sees the expansion as another piece to the Greensboro development puzzle. On average, the center brings in about half a million people every year. Dobrogosz says the new project has the ability to bring even more people to the city.

"The more unique things we have here, the more we are going to fill those hotels, the more we are going to fill those restaurants and the economy is going to continue to go forward, and that's what people want to see," he said.

The aquarium expansion is expected to open this spring, the renovations to the dinosaur gallery will open later this year and the center is finalizing plans for the zoo expansion.