Hogle Zoo plans to build a new $3 million animal health center with the help of a $1.5 million grant from the ALSAM Foundation.

The new facility, which will be named in honor of ALSAM Foundation founder L.S. "Sam" Skaggs, will include expanded diagnostic and treatment areas, updated surgical and quarantine elements and office space for the zoo's two full-time veterinarians and their staff.

"This is another big step in our Renew the Zoo Master Plan and our commitment to excellence," said Craig Dinsmore, Hogle Zoo's executive director.

"Our hope is that the ALSAM Foundation's leadership will spur other gifts from generous individuals and foundations to help transform Hogle Zoo for future generations of people and animals," said Beth Wolfer, Hogle Zoo's associate director of development.

The zoo plans to break ground on the new health center next September with construction expected to take about one year.