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Discovery Park site prep nears completion

Discovery Park site prep nears completion
A 50-acre former wheat field in Union City has been molded into a dramatic contour in preparation for the new Discovery Park of America. Site preparation is essentially complete for Discovery Center, the centerpiece building of the Discovery Park complex and the area surrounding the building. The drive to the building’s visitor entrance rises more than 20 feet from the driving entrance along Highway 51. Discovery Center will tower approximately 100 feet above the visitor entrance capped by an all-glass observation deck when it opens in late 2010. Site preparation has gone well according to Jim Rippy, Chairman of Discovery Park. “We’re delighted with the progress made to date by Searcy Construction and Harold Coffey Construction” said Rippy. “We’ve experienced some delay because of a change in plans for roads near the entrance to the Park. This altered the amount of right-of-way at Park’s entrance and subsequently the layout of our parking lot. The remaining site preparation has been suspended until final approval by TDOT. As soon as approval is obtained, the remaining north area site preparation should be completed in a few weeks.” Construction on Discovery Center is expected to begin by the end of October with the pouring of concrete for the foundation piers. Contracts are nearing completion for fire protection water lines and bids have been received for water and sewer lines. Final layout for underground utilities will be completed following TDOT approval of the entrance changes. “Travelers along highway 51 will soon see evidence of construction rising from the site”, Rippy added. Discovery Park of America, Inc will be a $100 million educational complex with historical exhibits about regional history, natural history, energy, arts, science/space and wildlife; botanical gardens; a pioneer village; a grand hall for meetings and events of up to 1,000 people; and other interesting and stimulating exhibits. The Robert E. and Jenny D. Kirkland Foundation is the principal funding source for Discovery Park, which is scheduled for completion in late 2010. Architectural renderings of Discovery Center are available at www.discoveryparkofamerica.com – click on Gallery. WCP 10.09.08

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