The Messenger 06.21.12
Discovery Park of America organizers are not satisfied with a 100,000-square-foot Discovery Center and almost 60,000 square feet of exhibits in nine galleries.
They want visitors to have more — much more.
Jim Rippy, chairman of Discovery Park, said a number of additions and enhancements have been made to the planned attractions on the grounds of Discovery Park in Union City that will greatly enhance the visitor experience.
Some of the improvements and expansions on the grounds of the developing project include:
• Liberty Hall — This new building will honor America’s independence. The building will feature a full-size replica of the Liberty Bell in the rotunda and copies of several historically significant documents and paintings. This building will be the centerpiece of Main Street, an area representative of the “main street” area in many small towns throughout the region. The Main Street area will be located in the southwest corner of the park and, initially, will also include a barbershop and a firehouse.
• Railroad depot and cars — This new area of the park will recognize the importance of the railroad to the development of this region of America. A railroad depot, replicated from those throughout the region during the 1800s, will be constructed. Several railroad cars, including an engine, coal car, dining car, caboose and passenger cars, are planned for display.
• Church — The beautiful New Chapel Methodist Church building in Elbridge was recently graciously donated to Discovery Park. This historic church was no longer in use and, now, will be enjoyed by thousands of visitors. The church was started in the early 1800’s. Originally, it was a log building with a dirt floor. The current building was built in the late 1880’s. It will be located on the south side of the park with an American garden and green space in front. The church can be accessed via the covered bridge across the water feature.
The church and surrounding grounds will be available for weddings and other events.
Rippy also said construction is progressing well, with an expected opening in the middle of next year. He said the unusually dry weather and efficient work by contractors and subcontractors has allowed excellent progress on Discovery Center and historic grounds areas.
Steel installation is complete for Discovery Center and will be complete next month for the tower.
On the grounds, the Antique Farm Equipment Showcase will be completed in a few weeks. The foundation has been constructed for the gristmill and the waterwheel has been installed. Timber construction will begin on the gristmill next week.
Discovery Park of America Inc. will be a $100 million educational complex with exhibits and interactive experiences in the areas of nature, science, technology, history and art. The Robert E. and Jenny D. Kirkland Foundation is the principal funding source for Discovery Park.