Durango, CO – Following a 10-year, $4 million renovation and interior reconstruction to the town’s historic Powerhouse, the Durango Discovery Museum opened to members on Wednesday, February 16, and to the general public beginning Wednesday, February 23.
“It’s hard to imagine we are finally here,” said Claire Bradshaw, the museum’s executive director. “It’s been a long journey, but none of this could have been possible without the thousands of volunteers and donors who generously gave their time and their dollars to this amazing endeavor.
“The Discovery Museum is something we can all take immense pride in,” she said. “It is a worthy addition to the town, and we hope everyone joins us in the coming weeks to celebrate the Powerhouse’s long-awaited ‘reopening’ as an interactive science and energy museum.”
The museum’s preview on February 16-19 is open only to current Discovery Museum members, plus card-carrying members of the Association of Science-Technology Centers. Atom Family memberships are priced from $60 and are valid for 12 months after purchase. Membership prices will increase (Atom level goes up to $75) one week after opening on Wednesday, March 2. The individual admission price is $9.50, and children age two and under are free. To participate in the member-only opening, join at the museum’s website, www.durangodiscovery.org.
According to Bradshaw, the museum is scheduled to open with more than a dozen major exhibits in the Southern Ute Indian Tribe Energy Gallery, including the eTree, Good Time Clock, Animation Station, Magic Planet, and Mensch Spark Shop, plus a (to be named) Powerhouse Theater, “mad scientist” exhibitions, and Durango Discovery Kids, a toddler-specific play zone.
The museum also features a new public plaza along the Animas River, including the Carver Brewing Co. and Family Stage, featuring science and art shows. Education programs, birthday parties, and science related events are already taking place in the newly remodeled Carlton Family Science Education Center, aka “The Ed.”
Winter hours for the museum will be Wednesday-Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday from 1-5 p.m. Through the winter, the museum will be closed on Mondays. Tuesdays will be open to school-group field trips.
About the Discovery Museum
Opening in February 2011, the Durango Discovery Museum is a unique hands-on museum where visitors can explore science and energy topics of all kinds. Phase II of the museum master plan includes two remodeled buildings at 1333 Camino del Rio and a river-facing public plaza. In addition to an interactive science center, the Powerhouse site includes an outdoor stage, workshops, event space, and offices. Housed in the country’s oldest surviving coal-fired, steam-generated AC power plant, the museum's interactive discovery and science exhibits promise to “spark curiosity, ignite imagination, and power exploration.”