FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 23, 2004
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG OPENS THE NEW EXPANSION AT NEW YORK HALL OF SCIENCE
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today joined New York Hall of Science Director Dr. Alan Friedman and New York City school children to open the $89 million expansion of the New York Hall of Science in Queens. The new wing, the cornerstone of the entire Hall of Science expansion project, was designed by Polshek Partnership and includes new permanent exhibitions, classrooms and public spaces to meet the demands of the Hall's growing family and school group attendance, and enhance the Hall's services to New Yorkers. The expansion represents the largest construction project at the Hall since the 1964 World's Fair, adding an additional 55,000 square feet of space. Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate D. Levin, Department of Design and Construction Commissioner David Burney, and representatives of other City agencies and elected officials joined the Mayor at the announcement.
"The New York Hall of Science is one of the most important institutions of its kind, and this magnificent expansion will make it that much more engaging for children and families exploring the wonderful world of science," said Mayor Bloomberg. "The City is proud of its substantial support for this project, which serves as a model for public/private partnerships."
The City committed $51 million in capital funding through the Department of Cultural Affairs for construction of this project. In addition, the City has committed more than $12 million for the restoration and construction of the Rocket Park, as well as the renovation of key areas of the original 1964 World's Fair structure and the development of the Preschool Playground. The Department of Design and Construction oversaw construction, renovation, and construction management for these projects.
"It's taken 40 years, but thanks to a sustained public/private partnership, and a dedicated and talented Board and staff, we're now able to deliver on that promise," said Dr. Friedman.
"The expansion of the New York Hall of Science marks an extraordinary moment in the life of this institution, and a wonderful new asset for New York's families, students, and visitors," said Commissioner Levin. "This project is a cornerstone of our cultural construction program, and a testament to the vision and commitment of the Hall's board and staff, working in partnership with the City of New York."
Highlights of the expanded New York Hall of Science include the Bob Cane-designed Rocket Park, which features Atlas and Titan II boosters and attendant capsules, originally on view at the 1964 World's Fair, the Harcourt Teachers Leadership Center, which provides teachers with programs, workshops and resources for professional development, and a host of exciting new exhibits, spanning the array of scientific inquiry, including such diverse topics as the search for life beyond earth, the physics of sports, and the power of natural and technological networks. The new expansion also includes a collection of hands-on art and technology exhibits, and newly commissioned artworks, including The Light Wall, designed by Jamie Carpenter and funded through the New York City Percent for Art program.
Built initially as a pavilion for the 1964-65 World's Fair in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the New York Hall of Science's facility is owned by the City, which also funds its operation through the Department of Cultural Affairs. The Hall has proved a model for public-private partnership since its reopening in 1986 as the City's first hands-on science and technology center, offering creative, participatory learning for children, families, teachers and others. Under the leadership of Executive Director Alan Friedman and Chairman Ivan Seidenberg, the Hall welcomed more than 240,000 visitors last year, including more than 2,000 teachers who receive professional credit and graduate courses in science education training, and more than 120,000 schoolchildren.
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