OC Zoo Improvement Project

Craftsman style entry plaza artist rendering

New Restroom Building and Interim Entry Plaza Project

March 12, 2019 -- Improvements are underway at the OC Zoo inside Irvine Regional Park, including a restroom and a new entry plaza.

The OC Zoo new restroom building and interim entry plaza project will match the existing craftsman architectural design of the existing buildings. The project also includes undergrounding overhead power lines and removing four supporting power poles.

An emergency power backup system with an innovative Tesla solar battery will provide emergency power to selected vital areas of the OC Zoo in the event of a prolonged power failure. The improvements will enhance function, public safety and aesthetics for OC Zoo visitors.

The OC Zoo is a 4.5-acre facility located within Irvine Regional Park that houses mammals, birds, reptiles and native vegetation representing the American Southwest. Many of the animals have been rehabilitated but cannot be released to the wild.


  • April 16, 2013 - The Board of Supervisors approved the General Development Plan (GDP) for the OC Zoo, including drainage improvements to minimize flooding, construction of a restroom, entrance enhancements, a new oak woodlands exhibit, new walkways and connectors and other features to enhance visitors’ experience at the OC Zoo.
  • November 6, 2018 - The Board of Supervisors approved a contract to build a new restroom building and interim entry plaza. OC Parks, in collaboration with OC Public Works, is using the Construction Manager At-Risk Contract delivery method of the proposed improvements. This presents a cost-effective alternative to the traditional design-bid-build process by, among other things, reducing the time in construction of the project.