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Proposition 84’s $7 Million Grant to Pave Way for Powerhouse Science Center Groundbreaking | Business

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Proposition 84’s $7 Million Grant to Pave Way for Powerhouse Science Center Groundbreaking
Business, Community
Proposition 84’s $7 Million Grant to Pave Way for Powerhouse Science Center Groundbreaking

Sacramento’s Premier Science Learning Center Breaks Ground This Fall

SACRAMENTO, CA. – A large, colorful banner was unfurled for the first time Thursday, Aug. 11, draped over an aging building that was once a power station but now displays a new placard in the name of education.

A banner ceremony took place at the historic PG&E Power Station B, the planned location of the Powerhouse Science Center, which is situated in the River District at 400 Jibboom Street in Sacramento. A $7 million check from Proposition 84’s Nature Education Facility Program will be used to begin construction on the $50 million project.

The Center has nearly completed its pre-construction phase and will begin breaking ground later this year. The new facility, scheduled for completion in 2013, will create more than 300 jobs and help vitalize Sacramento’s riverfront area and open the space for more public usage.

Located on the scenic banks of the Sacramento River, the Powerhouse Science Center will function as a model for 21st-century experiential STEM education (science, math, technology, engineering, space) and environmental stewardship. The design will be an exemplary “green” building that serves as an environmental teaching lab.

Congresswoman Doris Matsui has been a constant champion for STEM education in Sacramento and our nation’s capitol. The Congresswoman advocated for the Powerhouse Science Center to the State of California for this grant.

Congresswoman Matsui was among the attendees who watched the banner unfurl amidst cheers from a throng of Powerhouse supporters. The supporters included Mayor Kevin Johnson, State Senator Darrell Steinberg, Assembly member Roger Dickinson, Sacramento City Council member Angelique Ashby, and numerous Sacramento-area businesses and organizations who have become Powerhouse Partners and supporters.

“The Powerhouse Science Center will help revitalize our riverfront, provide children and families with a world class education center, and become a popular destination point within our region,” Congresswoman Matsui said. “The $7 million grant is wonderful news, and is the result of many people working to develop a great idea and application.”

Proposition 84’s grant will be targeted to build the Earth & Space Sciences Center in the Powerhouse campus. The Earth & Space Sciences Center will feature a full-dome, 150-seat planetarium, an updated Challenger Learning Center, and interactive exhibits focusing on the relationship of the four spheres: air/atmosphere, water/hydrosphere, earth/lithosphere/ and life/biosphere.

Planned as a destination for school groups, families, and tourists, the Earth & Space Sciences Center will address the goals of California’s Education and the Environment Initiative to increase environmental literacy for kindergarten through 12th grade students by teaching science, history, and social science within an environmental context.

“This project is about school kids and their education,” said Mayor Kevin Johnson. “Once this project is online, it will create a regional destination and an educational hub for school children to discover and learn science hands on.”

“This is an exciting day for Sacramento and those who have worked so hard to make this one-of-a-kind science learning center a reality,” Steinberg said. “This project is a perfect example of what voters wanted when they approved Proposition 84 – an investment that will enrich the community in many ways for years to come.”

The Earth and Space Sciences Center is a vital part of the entire Powerhouse Science Center campus. The Earth and Space Sciences Center will provide education for the natural sciences and inspire environmental stewardship. Visitors of all ages will enjoy focused learning about Earth's four natural spheres through the eyes of ever-expanding environmental literacy.

“I am thrilled that this grant is a huge milestone towards funding the Powerhouse Science Center,” said Assemblymember Roger Dickinson (D-Sacramento).  “I have actively supported the project since its inception, promoting their efforts and garnering county funding and advocating for state funding for construction.  I look forward to the opening of the Center and the jobs and revenue it will bring to the Sacramento region.”

“The Powerhouse Science Center is a terrific redevelopment investment into our urban core,” said Councilmember Angelique Ashby.  “This facility will not only serve to activate our riverfront, but will also become a regional destination providing a powerful educational experience for families."

Proposition 84 Nature Education Facilities Program grants make funding available to foster nature education and research facilities, and equipment to non-profit organizations and public institutions. Grants are used for buildings, structures, and exhibit galleries to inspire and educate the public. Representatives from the Nature Education Facilities committee made two site visits to the location.

Over 500 support letters were collected and submitted on behalf of the Powerhouse Science Center. Letters came from Congressional representatives Matsui and Dan Lungren; three State assemblymen and two State senators; four Sacramento County Board of Supervisors; Mayor Johnson and the entire Sacramento City Council; eight members of the Sacramento County Office of Education, including Superintendent David Gordon; and numerous company presidents, CEOs, educators and community leaders from throughout the Greater Sacramento region.

“We are so honored to be chosen for the Nature Education Facilities grant,” said Michele Wong, Interim Executive Director for the Powerhouse Science Center. “We received support letters from our state and local civic leaders, business owners, museum partners, parents, teachers, museum members and patrons, and even children. This was a tremendous collaborative effort by many people who share our passion for what we’re trying to accomplish.”

“The Powerhouse Science Center represents the future of our next generation and the future of the region, as both a civic destination and a foundation for innovative learning,” said Jason A. Silva, AIA, LEED AP - Powerhouse Science Center Architect and Principal at Dreyfuss & Blackford Architects, a founding partner. 

Features inside the Earth & Space Sciences Center include a 150-seat full-dome Planetarium Theater that will take visitors beyond astronomy to study nature education, and an expanded Challenger Learning Center providing simulated NASA space missions. Exterior experiences will include water conservation, green energy, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.

In addition to the Earth & Space Sciences Center, the Powerhouse campus will also include innovative, hands-on exhibit halls, science laboratories and classrooms; Robotics programs; an artificial wetlands; outdoor stage and screen; restaurant with riverfront views; and more.

For more information on the Powerhouse Science Center, including how to become a Founding Partner, visit www.powerhousesciencecenter.org, email info@PowerhouseScienceCenter.org, or call 916 853-0343. Visit the Center on Twitter, Facebook and Flickr. 

A selection of Powerhouse Science Center images can be viewed at http://www.dreyfussblackford.com/Powerhouse

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