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Shedd Aquarium To Undergo $500 Million Renovation Before 100th Year Celebration

CHICAGO (CBS) – The Shedd Aquarium has its eyes set on the future. A $500 million dollar renovation is planned as the world's third-largest aquarium in the world heads towards celebrating its 100th birthday in 2030.

It's being called a centennial commitment. CBS 2's Shardaa Gray takes a look inside.

An experience of learning and growing at the Shedd Aquarium is about to expand even more.

"It'll be from that structural column all the way through this structural column."

Part of the blueprint includes a 35-foot-long aquarium tunnel meant to make you feel like you're under the sea.

"It is an investment for our aquatic life, it's an investment for communities in Chicago and animals everywhere."

Doctor Bridget Coughlin, President and CEO of the Shedd, expects the transformation to create 2,000 jobs and lead to more than $340 million in economic activity during the construction.

"The economic and social impact of the investment Chicago will help communities not just here locally, but in the broader Chicago area," Coughlin said.

Outside the building, transformed spaces will provide visitors a view of land and water and learn more about nature.

"We are going to invite guests through some play-scape to participate, learn how we grow vegetables, for example, for our beloved sea turtle Nickle," Coughlin said.

The overall plan, including building renovations, new educational programs, and other efforts is scheduled to be completed by 2030, just in time for the Shedd Aquarium's 100th anniversary.

The Caribbean reef is one of the galleries that will go under construction in phases during the first four years. In the next four years, you'll see new programs at the Shedd Aquarium as well as in the community.

The construction is expected to begin this coming fall and is expected to be complete in 2026.

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