MONTEREY (KCBS) – The Monterey Bay Aquarium has unveiled plans for a new, state-of-the-art 13,000 square foot education center on Cannery Row.

Aquarium communications director Ken Peterson said the education center would give children a whole new way to learn about the sea, and more.

“What we envision, once it’s complete, is that we will be able to provide every visiting school group with a staff-led program. So, instead of having kids just come on a self-guided tour, they will actually have some kind of classroom experience with our team of educators,” Peterson told KCBS Radio.

If completed, the facility would have four new science and math labs, as well as recreational and workshop spaces.

The aquarium is trying to raise funds for the proposed $50 million project, which still needs to be approved by the Monterey Planning Commission and the California Coastal Commission.

About 75,000 children from kindergarten through high school take part in the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s free school programs every year.