In 2010, DMS provided cost estimating services for the Baltimore Aquarium in Baltimore, MD.

The history

The Baltimore National Aquarium is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to inspire conservation of the world’s aquatic treasures.  Opened in 1981, it was the jewel of Baltimore City’s Inner Harbor redevelopment with a mission to inspire conservation of the world’s aquatic treasures.

It is consistently ranked as one of America’s top three aquariums and has hosted over 51 million guests since opening. It also takes the crown as Maryland’s largest paid tourist attraction, with more than 20,000 fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles and marine mammals living in award-winning habitats.

The project

A living water-based park with a floating wetland, interactive piers and terraces that lead visitors to the water’s edge of the city’s Inner Harbor were to be the centerpiece of the National Aquarium’s updated master plan.  It was intended to be between piers three and four outside of the famed waterfront landmark that is more than 35 years old, complete with a terraced waterfront so visitors could journey to the water’s edge, and public art installations.

The designs were created by Baltimore architects Ayers Saint Gross Inc., as part of the Waterfront Partnership’s Inner Harbor 2.0 plan that aimed to upgrade and modernize the city’s main tourist attraction.  It was set to begin construction in 2017 and take four years to complete.

National Aquarium CEO, John Racanelli, said at the time: “This will be a complete makeover of the waterfront campus… It’s all about connecting people with the water that they depend on to live.”

Implementation of the renovation

Funded through both public and private sources, key factors in developing a budget construction cost assessment included the consideration of a number of repairs and deficiencies in and around the aquarium.  This included repairs to the aquatics area, display sections and fish storage areas.

Construction cost estimate

Estimated construction cost: $437,000.