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Published June 21, 2010, 07:47 AM

Minnesota Zoo breaks ground on addition

APPLE VALLEY, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Zoo is breaking ground on the first phase of a major new addition that will include its first-ever penguin exhibit.

APPLE VALLEY, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Zoo is breaking ground on the first phase of a major new addition that will include its first-ever penguin exhibit.

Construction on the $20 million "Heart of the Zoo" project gets underway Monday with an 11 a.m. groundbreaking ceremony with Gov. Tim Pawlenty expected to be in attendance.

In addition to the penguin exhibit, the first phase of the project will expand the zoo's education wing, transform an abandoned whale tank into a 200-seat theater and remake the zoo's current main entrance. Later phases aim to build a new visitors' center and separate main entrance, and to shift more animal exhibits closer to the front of the zoo.

The first phase is scheduled to be completed next summer.

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