Artist's concept drawing of Monterey Bay Aquarium's Bechtel Education Center. (Image courtesy of Mark Cavagnero Associates)

The Monterey Bay Aquarium will open its new Bechtel Family Center for Ocean Education in early June.

The center, geared toward K-12 students in the surrounding area, aims to improve ocean literacy and promote environmental conservation to children and teenagers visiting the aquarium.

The four-story, 26,000-square-foot center is to be located a few blocks from the aquarium at 625 Cannery Row in Monterey. It will feature four learning labs with live animal exhibits designed to further young visitors’ understanding of marine science.

Students will be able to collaborate with each other in the center’s new learning spaces. Construction of the $42 million center has been ongoing since fall 2016, constituting the aquarium’s biggest undertaking since the opening of its Open Sea Wing in 1996.

Built with a focus on energy efficiency and resource sustainability, it is pending certification for Leadership in Energy and
Environmental Design. For more information, call 831-648-4800.