When Todd Mitchell comments about work these days, he says, “That place is a zoo!” He’s not kidding though. His current job site is literally a zoo.
In 2016, Todd – an independent builder and authorized representative for Timberhaven Log & Timber Homes in Frankfort, Indiana – embarked on a multi-phase construction project at The Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium in Omaha, Nebraska. Throughout this process, Todd has served and continues to serve as the lead contractor for the conventional framing and log & heavy timber elements of the zoo’s two-year expansion project. Timberhaven Log & Timber Homes of Middleburg, Pennsylvania, supplied the construction materials and specialty log & timbers for this venture.
Omaha Zoo – African Grasslands Log & Timber Project
The initial phase of construction commenced in the African Grasslands – an outdoor grassland habitat for African wildlife. Todd and his crew performed the custom log work the African Lodge, an elephant shade structure, giraffe feeding station, hand-washing stations, an interior dining hall and an exterior dining hall, amphitheater, and a lagoon bridge.
*Note: The same Outlast Q8 Log Oil that we use on our log homes is environmental-friendly enough for animal exposure. In the above, left photo, Todd is shown applying Outlast Q8 Log Oil to the timbers.
Later in the year Todd Mitchell began work in the Africa Exhibits. Africa Phase I projects included a goat corral, pavilion, and a home for the mercats. Throughout the two phases, multiple sections of log fence/view railing were built. These fences range in length from 25 ft. to more than 350 ft.
A helicopter hanger, bongo viewing structure, and sable viewing structure were constructed in the Africa Phase II Exhibit. View railing and demonstration-area railing were also assembled by Todd.
Omaha Zoo: Conservation Academy & Children’s Zoo
Current construction efforts are focused on the Conservation Academy & Children’s Zoo. This area’s main feature is a massive tree house (a fabricated metal tree finished with concrete colors and textures to appear life-like). The tree itself will be surrounded by 8 tiers of decking. This is any kids’ nirvana. There will also be three string bridges, a prairie dog trellis, and a goat holding building that is attached to a suspended goat walk and swinging bridge – an idyllic atmosphere for the goats as well. The children’s zoo is scheduled to open in the summer of 2017.
According to the Omaha-World Herald, this is the zoo’s largest project ever. Todd Mitchell and Timberhaven Log & Timber Homes are elated to have an opportunity to be part of this monumental endeavor.