The 7 Seas Aquarium announced Friday that its Monday opening at the Temple Mall would be delayed.
“Due to some last-minute minor adjustments and revisions required by the city’s planning department,” the aquarium posted on its Facebook page Friday afternoon, “our opening is temporarily delayed — we do not anticipate this delay taking us beyond the end of the month, however, stay tuned on our website and social media channels for updated information as we have it to share.”
7 Seas Aquarium said its initial exhibits will include a river predator tank, shark interactive experience and touch tanks, while future plans will incorporate a lazy river, ocean predator observation tank and gift shop.
The city of Temple said the Building Inspections and Permits Department initially met with the aquarium’s general curator Fidel Junco in November, noting how he would need a commercial building remodeling permit, including electrical and plumbing.
City staff asked Junco to submit proposal plans, as well as meet with the city’s fire, life, safety and building teams on-site to review the proposed space, which he agreed to, Temple spokeswoman Laurie Simmons previously told the Telegram.
Simmons said Friday that Junco never submitted any plans to the city so the office of City Manager Brynn Myers got involved to help educate him on the permitting process.
“The last few days, we’ve been in direct contact with the city manager’s office and we are addressing the necessary adjustments to get on track and get the aquarium’s doors open as quickly as possible,” the aquarium’s post said. “Our number one priority is and has always been the enjoyment and safety of all our guests as well as the well being of all our species on display.”
“We both realize and understand that everyone is excited and anxious for the aquarium to finally open,” the post said. “At the same time, we also need for all the species in our collection to arrive safely and be properly acclimated in order for them to thrive in their new home."
Simmons said Temple is interested in helping get the facility up and running.
“We want to create attractions here in the city,” she said. “We just want it to be safe.”
Junco could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
The aquarium’s post said more time will be needed before the opening.
“Unlike a conventional entertainment venue or restaurant, 7 Seas Aquarium is a unique and highly specialized venue that doesn’t fall under the typical permitting guidelines and as a result, it has taken time and conversation for everyone involved to develop the necessary understanding of the facility and its needs,” the post said. “Pre-opening season passes remain on sale. We appreciate your patience and understanding while we work out a new grand opening date.”