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Bass Pro Shop at WestRidge features a freshwater aquarium

Bass Pro Shops recently opened in WestRidge Crossing, a new mixed-use development in Morgantown WV, located directly on Interstate 79. While the store architecture follows the branding of other Bass Pro Shops in North America, the Morgantown Bass Pro highlights a five-story glass boat display tower to showcase several fishing and recreational boats. Inside the 60,000 plus sq. ft. store, patrons will find everything needed for camping, fishing, hiking, hunting, and other outdoor activities.

The interior design approach brings the outdoors inside. Several dioramas and murals provide the feeling of being in the great outdoors, all within a comfortable and consistent shopping temperature. A focal point of the store includes the 9,500 gallon freshwater aquarium, stocked with largemouth bass, catfish, gar, and other indigenous southern Pennsylvania and West Virginia fish.

The Bass Pro Shops project team turned to COST to assist with building their iconic freshwater aquarium. The 40 ft. tall rock mountain was developed to resemble the Seneca Rocks area in WV, not far from the store site. The feature includes a mountain stream on one side and a rock outcrop on the other side, culminating into a cantilevered waterfall. Both water sources flow into the aquarium below. Guests can enter a rock stairwell and access a partial cave. At the top, one can overlook the aquarium via an upper-level platform. The entire mountain is landscaped with simulated pine, maple, and beech trees. Shrubbery and ground foliage complete the natural look. The leaves and grasses are finished in late summer/ autumn colorations.

COST’s project manager Bob Wenzel stated, “It is really rewarding seeing the complete project evolve from our shops (shop drawings) through our final waterfall/LSS testing.” “We enjoyed working with artificial foliage procurement and placement, which really pulled everything together,” he added.

This project team includes Ozarks-based TDP Architects, EMJ Construction, COST, and Bass Pro Shops along with a host of other subcontractors. COST was responsible for mountain/aquarium shop drawings, structural engineering, scale model, trees, foliage, artificial rockwork, waterfalls, aquarium acrylic, and the supply and installation of a freshwater life support system (LSS). This marks another successfully completed naturalistic water feature project for Bass Pro Shops. COST has maintained a strong relationship with Bass Pro Shops dating back to the mid-1980’s.

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