Project Details


Columbus Zoo & Aquarium


Civic and Cultural


URS Corporation

Delivery Method

General Trades Contractor

Columbus Zoo & Aquarium – Polar Frontier

Columbus, OH

Designed to represent an abandoned mining town, the Polar Frontier exhibit features animals native to colder climates including the Arctic Fox, Alaskan Brown Bears and Polar Bears. The centerpiece of the exhibit is the polar bears’ habitat which features a 1.3-acre yard with dig pits, smell ports and two pools. The larger 167,000-gallon still pool contains brackish water and is equipped with underground geothermal tanks that maintain the year-round water temperature between 55 and 65 degrees. An underwater viewing area formed by a curved piece of acrylic that is five-inches thick allows visitors to view the bears in their aquatic playground. A smaller surge pool provides a tidal effect for the bears.

A former church has been renovated to house interpretative exhibits, educational space, a viewing deck, restrooms and a gift shop. The compound also includes support buildings housing complex water filtering and treatment systems, and animal containment facilities.

The Polar Frontier exhibit also includes a concession area and a themed playground for children.

Columbus - HQ

1907 Leonard Ave.

Columbus, OH 43219


2001 West 18th Street

Indianapolis, IN 46202

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