Revised Construction Schedule Allows for Phased-Approach to Renovation
Discovery Place today announced that it will remain substantially open throughout most of its upcoming $31.6 million Museum renovation. Families, individuals and schoolchildren will be assured ongoing access to Museum exhibits and programs for most of the renovation period under the revised construction schedule.
“As we proceeded with the design and development process, plans for the infrastructure changed and it became possible to schedule the construction in stages, while remaining predominantly open and still keeping our visitors safe,” said John Mackay, president and CEO of Discovery Place, whose earlier construction plan called for a 14-month closure. “We are extremely pleased that we will be able to continue serving our visitors by showcasing new exhibitions and programs while we undergo renovation.”
The new construction plan calls for the renovation to occur in phases over 17 months, beginning January 2009.
January 2009 - July 2009
The “Tryon Street side” of Discovery Place will be fully open and operational while the “Church Street side” of Discovery Place is renovated. This side of the Museum contains exhibits such as the Aquarium, KidsPlace, Rat Basketball, the Gizmotron, Einstein’s Corner and more.
July 2009 - February 2010
The “Church Street side” of Discovery Place will be fully open and operational while the “Tryon Street side” is renovated. During this time, the IMAX Theatre will be open; Discovery Place will host new traveling exhibitions in the large exhibition hall; and, visitors will be able to participate in KidsPlace activities, which will be relocated within the Museum.
February - June 2010
The Museum will be closed as Discovery Place installs new exhibits and brings the two sides together.
Discovery Place holds its grand reopening.
Visitors will have access to the Discovery Place parking deck throughout the entire renovation. In addition, Charlotte Nature Museum on Sterling Road and Discovery Place ScienceReach outreach program will remain fully and continuously in operation.
The renovation – the Museum’s largest in its 26-year history – will enable Discovery Place to provide new exhibitions that present science and technology in a more contemporary way. The renovations will provide new interactive displays, better traffic flow, improved infrastructure and the ability to rotate exhibitions more frequently. The changes also will create a Museum that can more regularly host world-class exhibitions like BODY WORLDS and the upcoming A Day in Pompeii opening July 11, 2008.
Following the June 2010 reopening, in addition to new original and traveling exhibitions, visitors will find a new 3-D science theatre, larger aquariums and hands-on interactive displays. Navigation into and through the Museum will be easier thanks to a main point of entry on Sixth Street (the Tryon Street entrance will be closed but entry through Discovery Place Parking Garage will remain open) and a central staircase.
“We are proud to bring science and technology to life for our community’s children, and the changes we are making in Discovery Place guarantee that we can continue to do that in a visitor-friendly way with extraordinary exhibitions and thought-provoking programs,” Mackay said. “Serving the public and providing educationally enriching programs for schools is our priority and we are extremely pleased that we can continue to do this at our Tryon street facility during most of the renovation.”
Discovery Place also continues to offer its Charter Membership, which offers Membership benefits throughout the entire 17-month period of renovation and for a period of time in the newly renovated Museum.
About Discovery Place
Discovery Place is located in uptown Charlotte at 301 N. Tryon Street. Convenient parking is available in the science center’s parking garage – the Carol Grotnes Belk Complex – at the corner of Sixth and Church Streets. For more information about Discovery Place, call 704-372-6261 or visit discoveryplace.org.
One of the top hands-on science museums in the nation and second-most visited attraction among museums and historical attractions in North Carolina, Discovery Place provides ever-changing, entertaining facilities that foster experiences in areas that range from life science to marine biology. More than a half-million people from all over the United States visit Discovery Place, its IMAX® Dome Theatre and Charlotte Nature Museum each year. Discovery Place is supported, in part, with a Basic Operating Grant from the Arts & Science Council.