Brookfield Zoo will get $1 million in state funding to develop a building designed for disabled people, underserved communities and veterans and their families.
Gov. Pat Quinn said Saturday the money is coming from the Illinois Jobs Now capital program.
The state investment will leverage more than $1 million in private funding toward construction of the $7 million building.
Animals housed there will be part of the zoo's Wild Encounters exhibit to provide guests with opportunities to interact with the zoo's "ambassador" animals.
Officials say the facility will house unique animals used in programming for children and adults with developmental disabilities, children from underserved parts of the community and veterans.
Brookfield Zoo recently launched the worlds' first zoo-based programming for children with autism.