Surrounded by a beautiful and tranquil environment, Stone Zoo is found bordering Spot Pond in Stoneham, MA.
This 2,400 sq. ft. gift shop and restroom building is a big part of Zoo New England’s Stone Zoo Welcome Plaza revitalization project.
The building’s Cambia vertical wood siding and store front windows create an innovative, but classy, first impression for visitors as they enter the zoo. Crane-set on a full concrete perimeter foundation wall with interior piers, the off-site constructed steel and wood building is completely ADA accessible through entrances at grade.
Inside the gift shop, track lighting and exposed spiral ductwork create a modern look, while RTUs controlled by programmable thermostats keep visitors comfortable. The restrooms are entered through exterior glass doors and a spacious central vestibule. Illuminated with LED lighting, the climate controlled restrooms, finished with ceramic tile are a huge improvement over the previous facilities.
Building a welcome center is a difficult task when you want to keep an attraction open. The method off-site construction made it possible to reduce inconvenience and disturbance for the zoo’s visitors during construction. Construction traffic was minimal, because the buildings were 90% completed at the factory, while the speed of installation had the welcome center up and running quickly.
A daily flow of zoo visitors is necessary to keep the attraction in operation, and lost revenue due to construction activity closures could have had a detrimental impact for the zoo. Off-site construction provided the opportunity for the zoo to stay in operation, even while their building was being constructed in a factory. The new retail gift shop creates an expanded revenue stream for the zoo, with a larger space to display and offer more products. Quick construction and installation of the modular built gift shop created an opportunity for revenue generation faster.