Contractor chosen for Pt. Defiance Zoo amphitheater

Pease Construction of Lakewood has been selected to build the new amphitheater and a new pathway and plaza corridor at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium.

Construction is expected to begin within a few weeks, and project managers expect the amphitheater to be ready next July.

The open-air amphitheater will feature covered seating for 350 and hillside seating for an additional 850 visitors.

It will be the new staging area for live animal presentations and be available for Zoo Sounds concerts and other events.

A combination of rustic wood support structures and high-tech fiberglass/Teflon tension fabric roof, the amphitheater will be a striking addition to the zoo.

It was designed by Tacoma-based BCRA Tsang Architects.

“This project is at the very heart of what we’re trying to accomplish with redeveloping the Zoo,” said Deputy Director John Houck. “It will greatly enhance our ability to offer high-quality animal programs and fulfill our mission of conservation and education. The new wayfinding system will make it even easier for visitors to navigate the zoo.”

Pease Construction was founded in 1984, with the two principals being Patty Candiotta, president, and Loren Pease, vice president and general manager.
The firm’s primary market has been the military, with building restoration, campgrounds, office buildings and industrial projects.

The company’s annual sales volume is approximately $25 million, with a work force of about 50 people.

Current projects include Fort Nisqually Factor’s House restoration, Lincoln Mercury and Mazda of Olympia and an operations center for Annapolis Water and Karcher Creek Sewer District.

“The Wild Wonders Amphitheater and Zoo Hub, with its prominent architectural features, will be something Pease Construction and the entire community will be proud of for years to come,” said company President Patty Candiotta. “We look forward to this challenging, high-profile project.”

The $2.94 million project is part of a major makeover under way at the Zoo financed with proceeds from a $35 million bond issue approved by Tacoma voters in 1999.

Other projects include a major new Asia Forest Sanctuary exhibit, Kids Zone, state-of-the art animal hospital and new entry.

Work on all of the projects is scheduled to be complete in 2005, just in time for the zoo’s centennial celebration.