Discovery Park progress announced for 2011

Discovery Park progress announced for 2011

Posted: Friday, January 7, 2011 8:01 pm

Discovery Park of America is poised to make significant progress during 2011.

A change in architects and development of a new design for the 50-acre site, as well as a new design for Discovery Center, the primary exhibit building, created a lengthy delay in construction.  Design concepts are now complete, and engineering for the site and Discovery Center are more than 50% complete.  Verner Johnson Associates is the design architect for the project and Allen Searcy Builder-Contractor, Inc. continues as construction manager. 

New concept designs have also been completed for 52,000 SF of exhibits inside Discovery Center, including galleries for Alternative Energy, Children’s Exploration, Enlightenment, Military, Native Americans, Natural History, Regional History, Transportation, and Space/Science/Technology.  Another 4,000 SF of exhibit space has been set aside for traveling exhibits and approximately 4,000 SF has been reserved for future expansion.

Site preparation on the 50-acre complex resumed in December with Coffey Construction of Hickman, KY handling the earthwork, erosion control, and drainage systems.  Revell Construction of Union City, TN was awarded the contract for water and sewer line installation.  Key Fire Protection of Jackson will install the underground fire protection system and Vaughn Electric of Union City will install site electrical systems.

Jim Rippy, Chairman of Discovery Park of America, said, “We’re delighted that construction has finally resumed.  While lots of planning has been done during the past year, we’re eager to see visible progress on the site with contractors moving dirt and pouring concrete”.

Rippy added, “We’re very excited about the plans for exhibits and interactive experiences at Discovery Park.  Our committees and exhibit designers have done an excellent job of developing exhibit ideas that will both educate and thrill visitors”.  

Several of Discovery Park’s exhibits will be one-of-a kind experiences, unmatched anywhere else in the world.   Some of the featured exhibits planned include an earthquake simulation theatre, a giant replica of the human body, and a starship theatre that will simulate flights anywhere in the universe. A number of large dinosaurs and a 15,000-gallon aquarium will also be featured. 

Discovery Park of America, Inc. will be a $100 million educational complex with exhibits and interactive experiences in the areas of history, nature, art, and science. The Robert E. and Jenny D. Kirkland Foundation is the principal funding source for Discovery Park.  The complex is expected to be complete in early 2013.

Architectural renderings of Discovery Center, the 50-acre site and some exhibits are available upon request. Contact Larry Snider for these images.

wcp 1/6/11

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