Mall acquarium will have sharks, live coral reef

A new aquarium will provide an educational experience for children.



NILES — As people stroll through the center of the Eastwood Mall, they are talking among themselves and wondering what’s being built.

The activity is taking place in close proximity to a sand sculpture that people admire.

Not only is the distance close, so is the connection between the sculpture and what’s being built: an aquarium, or an E-Quarium as some people call it. The E is in place for Eastwood Mall, since this is exclusively at the mall.

The E-Quarium is the mall’s newest addition. The 14-foot-tall sand sculpture in center court was built by Cleveland-based sculptor Carl Jara and his assistant, Suzanne Altamare.

The three-tank system will have sharks, saltwater fish and a living coral reef. The cost is yet to be determined.

Tenecor, an industry leader out of Phoenix, is building the tanks. The large tank is 240 by 72 by 60 inches, and the other two are 120 by 48 by 60.

John Beach, Tenecor installer, said the aquarium is being made out of acrylic.

“It’s too big to be glass,” he said.

Other credits

Tenecor built the National Aquarium in Washington, D.C., the New York Aquarium and the Trump Tower Aquarium in New York City.

Jim Valentino, regional marketing director for the mall, said bringing the tank to the mall will lead to more people visiting the area.

Construction of the aquarium began in mid-July and should be completed by October, according to Fred Beshara, independant tank designer and construction worker.

Beshara said when the aquarium is completed, there will be about 60,000 pounds on the mall floor including the sand. “If you stand in the middle, its like standing in the ocean,” he said.

It will be both attractive and educational.

Mr. McFinn’s Kid’s Club is a program designed for children to learn about aquatic life. Free literacy month activities will be provided for anyone who signs up to be a member of the club. Mr. McFinn is the star of the club, and the club will also feature a retail store.

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