Regardless of the year, the team would prefer to start construction in March or
April to maximize construction efficiency before work must be paused around
November because of freezing temperatures.
“Until you can secure funding, everything gets pushed off,” Ms. Furrer says.
Her project team minimizes the impact by keeping internal stakeholders and
preferred contractors updated on the project status, often communicating with
them weekly to ensure they are available and ready to go when the funding
Such delays also impact how soon the zoo can start promoting the project to
the public and donors who will cover the remaining US$1.4 million. “We want
to get supporters excited, but we don’t want to ramp up fundraising until we are
much closer to opening day,” Ms. Furrer says.
MAKE NO MISTAKE
Once zoo project construction starts, there’s no room for error. Project
teams have to anticipate and actively plan for prevention or mitigation of
every risk possible to make sure animals and visitors stay safe and healthy,
says Walter Kerr, executive project director for Ocean Park, a Hong Kong
theme park that specializes in exhibits for marine mammals and other animals. On typical construction projects, contractors are happy with “good
enough” because they know they can always go back and tweak any problems, Mr. Kerr says. But that approach simply doesn’t work with zoological
Ocean Park’s Polar
in Hong Kong
“Once you move animals into an exhibit, you can’t just
move them out to fix something.”
—Walter Kerr, Ocean Park, Hong Kong