Baylor To Break Ground On Discovery Center Jan. 31

Jan. 26, 2001

Baylor University officials and other dignitaries will hold a ceremonial groundbreaking on the much-anticipated Harry and Anna Jeanes Discovery Center, the centerpiece of The Sue and Frank Mayborn Natural Science and Cultural History Museum Complex, at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 31, on University Parks Drive next to the Baylor Alumni Center. Actual construction on the building will begin this summer.

"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," said Calvin Smith, chair of the department of museum studies and director of the Mayborn Museum Complex.

The 95,000-square-foot Jeanes Discovery Center will be filled with hands-on exhibits and experiences for children and adults alike. Major components of the Jeanes Discovery Center will include 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 groundbreaking also will signal the beginning of the public phase of the fundraising campaign. More $14.1 million has been raised toward the $18 million project.

In addition to the Jeanes Discovery Center, the Mayborn Museum Complex will include the Gov. Bill and Vara Daniel Historic Village, a turn-of-the-century riverfront community that provides a living history experience for visitors; the Environmental Experience, a nature trail that highlights flora and fauna found in the Brazos River Basin; and the Center for Museum Studies, which will provide academic facilities and laboratories for the department of museum studies at Baylor.

Baylor officials estimate that the museum complex will attract several hundred thousand visitors annually.

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