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Discovery Science Center launches $62 million capital campaign

The DSC’s largest fundraising effort to date will expand and enhance the center

by Caitlin AdamsPublished: October 01, 2012 03:15 PM

Santa Ana nonprofit organization and educational destination, the Discovery Science Center on Saturday revealed its $62 million capital fundraising campaign to support an expansion of the popular educational center for families and kids. The announcement was made at The Discovery Science Center (DSC) 2012 Gala last weekend, themed “Building for the Future.” The event marked the public launch of the campaign, which has already generated $10 million in contributions.

“This is a transformational project for our community,” said David Horowitz, president of the Horowitz Group, who is co-chairing the capital campaign. “The expansion will enable DSC to become the No. 1 science center in the nation with a new approach to serving up education.”

The popular family-friendly science center hosts a variety of traveling exhibits year-round, aimed at make science and learning more appealing to kids by relating the subject to popular themes; past exhibits include “DaVinci: The Genius,” “Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination,” and “Mythbusters: The Explosive Exhibit.” The center's next major exhibit, “Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology,” is set to open Oct. 12.

“Discovery Science Center is inspiring the next generation of scientists, engineers and critical thinkers right here in our backyard,” said Jim Peterson, president and CEO of Microsemi Corporation and capital campaign co-chair. “As an Orange County-based company, Microsemi is committed to our community’s children and their place in tomorrow’s technology-rich world.”


Co-chairs Peterson and Horowitz are heading the campaign, along with several “top level business and community leaders” comprising a capital campaign cabinet.

The campaign aims to raise $62 million to support an extensive expansion and upgrade of the facility, allowing the center to accommodate more visitors and host more exhibits.

“We are at maximum capacity,” said Joe Adams, DSC president. “Our expansion will double the number of visitors to 1,000,000 and expand our field trips to reach 210,000 students annually.”

The campaign has already generated more than $10 million toward the $18.5 million needed to begin the first phase of the expansion, which will add three new or expanded halls. Phase one of construction will include adding a new 40,000-square-foot Discovery Pavilion, a California Natural Resources Pavilion and Education Wing, and expanding the existing center into the Grand Hall of Science, featuring a new welcome center, guest services, a 2,000-square-foot retail store, and exploration space for children under the age of five. The new construction will follow LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver certification guidelines. Construction on the first phase is set to begin this winter, with completion scheduled for fall 2014.

The center last year received a $7 million competitive grant funded through Prop. 84, a 2006 state measure to fund projects that protect natural resources. These funds will be directed to the California Natural Resources Pavilion. In addition, the center has received transformational gifts and leadership gifts from several private supporters.

OC METRO readers voted the Discovery Science Center as a Most Trustworthy Brand in June 2012.  


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