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Updated Zoo reptile house reopens Saturday

The oldest building at any zoo nationwide is ready to debut its updated look. The Cincinnati Zoo's 138-year-old Reptile House reopens tomorrow after undergoing renovation.

Credit Tana Weingartner / WVXU
Workers uncovered a previously unknown wood and glass oculus hidden beneath layers of old paint.

Director Thane Maynard says workers found and restored a previously unknown wood and glass oculus window in the dome ceiling.

"It ends up that over the years 12 coats of paint had been painted over this so it looked like just woodwork or decoration, when it is really this magnificent 20th century phenomenon sort of drawing you into the building," he says. "Much like what you might see when you go in historic buildings in Washington, DC."

Other upgrades include new paint; carpeting; plaster, window and HVAC repairs; and sound damping banners.

The Zoo got a grant from the National Park Service to fund the work.

Tana Weingartner earned a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in mass communication from Miami University. Prior to joining Cincinnati Public Radio, she served as news and public affairs producer with WMUB-FM. Ms. Weingartner has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including several Best Reporter awards from the Associated Press and the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and a regional Murrow Award. She enjoys snow skiing, soccer and dogs.