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Discovery center enters next phase

Jan. 31, 2001

More than $14 mil still needed for final completion

By ANGELA BECERRA

Reporter

The ceremonial groundbreaking of the Henry and Anna Jeanes Discovery Center will take place at 2: 30 p.m. today. The site for the groundbreaking is on University Parks Drive next to the Hughes-Dillard Alumni Center.

Construction on the Jeanes Discovery Center is expected to start later this year. Dr. Richard C. Scott, vice president for university development, said 'The preparation part will be taking place until the construction begins.'

The groundbreaking also marks the beginning of the public phase of the fund-raising campaign for the construction of the Jeanes Discovery Center.

About $3.9 million of the $18 million needed to complete the project remains to be raised. Scott said several prospective donors will be at the groundbreaking. He also said the public phase will involve phone calls, mailings and contact with other possible donors.

The 95,000-square-foot building will be the centerpiece of the Sue and Frank Mayborn Natural Science and Cultural History Museum Complex. It will feature hands-on exhibits and experiences for both children and adults.

The Jeanes Discovery Center will also feature the Thomas E. and Emilyne W. Anding Exhibitions Gallery; The Children's World; the Southwestern Bell Discovery Theater; the AT&T Information Centers; the Doug and Ellen Miller Atrium of Wildlife Art; and the Permanent Exhibits Gallery.

The Anding Exhibitions Gallery, in addition to in-house exhibits, will feature major traveling exhibits such as King Tut, Genghis Khan and Catherine the Great. Calvin B. Smith, director of the Mayborn Museum Complex and chairman of the department of museum studies, said 8,000 square feet of the Jeanes Discovery Center will be dedicated to housing the traveling exhibits.

The complex will also include nine walk-through exhibits. Smith said these will include modules depicting the universe, the cretaceous seas, a cave experience, and prairie and forest environments. It will also include Texas Lifeways, which will feature exhibits such as a Waco grass house, a buffalo hide teepee and a log cabin.

Baylor officials estimate that the museum complex will attract several hundred thousand visitors annually. Calvin Smith, chair of the department of museum studies and director of the Mayborn Museum Complex, said, 'We are most fortunate and proud to have this opportunity to offer a lifelong learning, entertaining, family-oriented, community resource for future generations that will also serve as the best face of the university and a major tourist attraction for the city of Waco.'

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