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Sci-Port unveils first phase of Capital Campaign
$8.9 million campaign includes new children’s museum, Louisiana gallery
 
Published Wednesday, February 19, 2014 6:00 am
by Karen E. Wissing

Shreveport, La. – The first of a three phase capital campaign was announced last night during Sci-Port: Louisiana’s Science Center’s Annual Chairman’s Building Blocks Dinner. Capital Campaign Chairman Robert Stroud announced the plans to the dinner’s over 100 attendees.

“We’re very excited about what’s going on in the campaign and preview,” Stroud said. “We’ve been meeting, and working very diligently, and very frugally, for the three phase campaign.”  

The first phase, Itty Bitty City, will be a children’s museum housed inside Sci-Port, expanding the Center’s exhibitory and programming for the youngest visitors. The space, costing around $2 million, will be geared toward younger children, providing an age-appropriate, informal educational experience.

Set to open late fall 2015, Itty Bitty City will be a “museum within a museum,” a business model science centers across the country are embracing for mission and education-related reasons, as well as financial reasons. This expansion of the Center’s audience to include the youngest learners will allow them to, literally, grow up with Sci-Port.

“We’re looking to expand our visitor base, and we found that guardians with smaller children come more often,” Sci-Port President/CEO Ann Fumarolo said. “We’ve had such great support, and when you say Sci-Port had a bad 2013, people take notice because we usually do really well. This will help with the facility and give people a new reason to come back to Sci-Port.”

In addition to a café, farm, medical center and other city entities within the Itty Bitty City, there will be a vet clinic sponsored by Southern Hills Animal Hospital and a bank sponsored by Chase Bank.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to make science a fun and enjoyable experience for the children of Northwest Louisiana,” said Drs. Steve and Brad Everson of Southern Hills Animal Hospital. “The Sci-Port Itty Bitty City Southern Hills Animal Hospital will give children a meaningful experience to ideally propel them to want to pursue further science, technology, art and math in their future studies, and get a taste of how they can apply that scientific knowledge to everyday life.”

The fundraising campaign is ongoing, and other sponsorship opportunities are available.

Kraemer Design + Production, the exhibit’s design team, have been working on the plans for four months with full participation from Sci-Port’s Board of Directors. Throughout today, the design team will meet with several different focus groups, including educators, Sci-Port Members and parents from the Shreveport-Bossier City community, for feedback and discussion on the exhibit’s offerings.

Following the Itty Bitty City phase of the Center’s capital campaign will be the Louisiana Gallery, with a projected funding of $4 million. This gallery will be a complete renovation on the Center’s current Red River Gallery; going beyond what’s found in “Sportsman’s Paradise,” this area will provide a glimpse of the diverse waterways from Shreveport through Louisiana and into the Gulf, showing and celebrating the uniqueness of each region. Northwest Louisiana’s local oil and gas roots, as well as its role in economic and workforce development for the future, will also be incorporated into the project.

Finally, phase three, “Technology Today,” will be completed using funds just shy of $3 million. The technological needs of the Center will be addressed – from going digital with the state’s only IMAX Dome Theatre, to upgrading and improving many components of the Space Center. In addition, the back office systems and other operational elements, as well as some older exhibitory, will be revamped.

The Space Center, which was part of the Center’s 2003-2006 capital campaign, was an $11.6 million investment for a 25,000 sq ft expansion which included a state of the art digital planetarium. While the current capital campaign does not add any square footage to the Center, it will renovate, upgrade and replace some of Sci-Port’s existing galleries and exhibits.

About Sci-Port: Louisiana’s Science Center
Sci-Port:Louisiana’sScienceCenter, voted the 2012 Attraction of the Year by the Louisiana Travel Promotion Association, is a 92,000 square-foot science and entertainment center featuring 290 hands-on exhibits, 70 interactive programs and demonstrations, aSpaceCenterand Space Dome Planetarium, IMAX Dome Theatre, gift shop and café. Sci-Port is a member of the Association of Science-Technology Centers; a LA Space Consortium member and is recognized by Parents magazine as one of the nation’s ten best science centers. The Center is located at820 Clyde Fant Parkwayon the downtownShreveportriverfront. For information regarding hours, IMAX showings or special programs, call (318) 424-3466, toll free at (877) 724-7678 or visit sciport.org.

 

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Contact Info

Sci-Port Discovery Center
820 Clyde Fant Parkway
Shreveport, Louisiana 71101

 

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