ROYAL OAK, Mich. -

The Detroit Zoo will ceremoniously “break the ice” Tuesday on its $29.5 million, 33,000-square-foot Polk Penguin Conservation Center.

The groundbreaking event, which is scheduled for 6 p.m., will mark the beginning of an 18-month construction period for the largest project the Zoo has ever undertaken. The PPCC will be built on a 2-acre site just inside the Zoo's entrance and is scheduled to open in late 2015.

The facility will feature 4-D effects such as arctic blasts, rough waves and snow, and include other elements like ice crevasses.

It was designed by Jones & Jones, architects of Disney’s Animal Kingdom as well as the Detroit Zoo’s Arctic Ring of Life and National Amphibian Conservation Center, and by Albert Kahn Associates, architects of the Zoo’s Ruth Roby Glancy Animal Health Complex.