FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
APRIL 5, 2012
CONTACT: KELLY HUSAK OR STEPHANIE UITENBROEK
561.278.0850 OR UITENBROEKPR@AOL.COM
SOUTH FLORIDA SCIENCE MUSEUM BREAKS GROUND FOR EXPANSION
Public joins local VIPs and Museum leadership for free community celebration and groundbreaking
(West Palm Beach, FL) Launching the South Florida Science Museum from good to great, Museum leadership and community leaders invited the general public to a free groundbreaking reception on April 5, 2012 at the Museum’s Dreher Park facility. Featuring entertainment, refreshments, interactive science experiments and more, the celebration not only honored the Museum’s past 50 years as a beloved South Florida institution, it offered leadership an opportunity to unveil plans for the Museum’s new foundation for the next 50 years.
Earlier this year, the Palm Beach County Board of Commissioners unanimouslyapproved a $2.4 million grant for the Museum’s newly revised expansion plan. Coupled with monies raised from the Museum’s staff and board members, the current $3 million in cash and pledges for the campaign is enough for the Museum to break ground on a 6,000-square-foot expansion and to renovate the current main exhibit spaces, according to Lew Crampton, South Florida Science Museum CEO.
“For more than 50 years, the South Florida Science Museum has inspired youth and visitors with hands-on, minds-on experiences,” said Lew Crampton, Museum CEO. “Today with more than 150,000 visitors per year and an additional 45,000 students being served by the Museum, we aim to redefine the way we think, learn and interact with science in our lives. It’s important to note that the South Florida Science Museum is currently the second busiest science center in the country. This expansion will take the Museum from a good institution to a great one. This community deserves an incredible science center and the time is right to move forward with this next step.”
The South Florida Science Museum is the only public museum for science, technology and natural history education in Palm Beach County.The new Museum will feature state of the art, hands-on exhibitions, including a new travelling exhibition hall to showcase top new exhibits, an expanded aquarium, and an interactive Everglades Adventure. The expansion project is targeted for completion in December 2013, and the Museum will remain open during construction.
“After hosting 5 million visitors, the pressing need for this project is clear,” continued Crampton. “As the leading cultural and educational resource in Palm Beach County devoted to science and technology, the current facilities are too cramped and worn. Currently, we can’t even accommodate many really great traveling exhibits – we’re just too small. And the demand for the museum is growing annually as the region grows with the addition of families. Our community’s school children deserve a state-of-the-art facility to engage them in learning about science and technology, so essential to securing good jobs and assuring our nation’s future in an increasingly competitive world.”
According to Crampton, the Museum will launch a $1.5 million capital campaign over the next 18 months to add quality exhibits and new visitor amenities to the current expansion plans. Additional plans for the capital campaign include: a new permanent interactive exhibit featuring “Science on a Sphere”, an exploration of our world’s climate and natural environment with particular focus on our region’s specialty, the hurricane; an Everglades exhibit including aquatic tanks, an outdoor interpretive display and a simulated airboat ride; and a newly expanded Science and Nature path.
The groundbreaking celebration included presentations by County Commissioner Shelley Vana, City of West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio, high school student Sophie Gross, and Museum board chairman, Matt Lorentzen. The Palm Beach Atlantic University dance ensemble performed and guests were invited to tour the current Museum and participate in interactive science experiments, compliments of the Museum in honor of the milestone event.
The South Florida Science Museum is located at 4801 Dreher Trail North, West Palm Beach. To support the Museum’s capital campaign efforts, please reach Marcy Hoffman, development director, at (561) 370-7738 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Museum’s website at www.sfsm.org.