Burpee Museum and the Discovery Center are $5.1 million closer to the goal of the Connecting Our Future campaign. Once the community has donated nine and a half million dollars, construction will begin on the much anticipated expansion of both museums.
"Our hopes are by this time next year we'll be in the middle of groundbreaking," said Jill Trojniar, Burpee's marketing director.
Before starting construction, first the campaign needs to raise another four and a half million dollars.
"Right now we're in the quiet phase, and by that we're approaching individuals who can make significant gifts, corporations, foundations, we're writing grants and approaching government agencies," said Alan Brown, campaign director.
The Connecting Our Future campaign goes public this September. We'll all get a chance to purchase a spot to put pieces of our family history on display in the new additions.
"People will be able to purchase, for instance, a brick for our Riverwalk on Yerraces, or a mural that we're going to be planting. You could buy a tile of some type which might have a family picture in it," said Brown.
One of the most noticeable additions will be an exhibit hall that connects Burpee and Discovery.
"That's going to bring traveling exhibits from around the country, like for example, the Smithsonian or New York Museums," said Brown.
The Discovery Center will have lots more space for family fun and learning. Jane the Dinosaur will get a new home. After campaign managers have raised money for construction, they will seek $3 million more. Those endowments will support exhibitions, plus research and education.
Anyone who wants to help with the Connecting Our Future expansion can log on the campaign's Web site. Just head to www.connectingourfuture.com.