Oklahoma City, OK - The Oklahoma City Zoo feels the possible MAPS 4 penny sales tax could fund a state of art aquarium. 

Right now, the state’s largest facility is the 72,000 square-foot Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks, which opened in 2003.

“We envision something on a much grander scale,” says OKC Zoo Executive Dir. Dwight Lawson.

Lawson pictures a 100,000 square-foot space, costing around $100 million. It would be located in or near downtown OKC.

He says the newer aquariums seen in cities like Atlanta and Chattanooga, TN., could serve as inspiration for OKC.

“They aren’t just incredible experiences inside, but the building itself is an iconic structure that augments the skylines they are in,” says Lawson.

The zoo has already had a feasibility study that shows the state could support two major aquariums.

The zoo has had the idea for a new aquarium for years, but says MAPS 4 gives the city a realistic chance of making it a reality.

The zoo is currently waiting on the results to an economic impact study, which it will present to the City.

The City is now taking MAPS 4 ideas and residents will eventually vote on the ballot measure.