CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The South Carolina Aquarium is days away from the official opening of the Zucker Family Sea Turtle Recovery.
It took roughly nine months of construction crews working day and night to transform the nearly 7,000 square-foot space. The roughly $5 million project was years in the making.
The space is designed to promote conservation and learning. X-Rays, a theater and several smart pads allow kids to play veterinarian for the day.
"Here they'll be able to use augmented reality and pretend to be veterinarians and conduct diagnoses on mock sea turtles. It's a way to get them to reframe the future," President and CEO Kevin Mills said.
Students from Sanders Clyde Elementary School were among the first to explore Thursday morning.
Behind the glass are upgraded tanks and an improved medical facility. It's built for efficiency.
"You do your x-rays here, your ultrasound here, minor surgical procedures, physical exams. We do medications and treatments here as well," said Veterinarian Shane Boylan.
The Zucker Family Sea Turtle Recovery opens to guests Saturday.