Groundbreaking Nears for New Miami Science Museum

The planned new $275 million building has many notable features

By Jeff Burnside
|  Saturday, Feb 18, 2012  |  Updated 9:45 AM EDT
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Groundbreaking Nears for New Miami Science Museum

Courtesy Miami Science Museum

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Groundbreaking Nears for New Miami Science Museum

Right now the site for the new Miami Science Museum is just a darkened lot. But what is about to be built there, in Bicentennial Park on the water near downtown, could change Miami in a few ways, museum leaders say.
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Right now the site for the new Miami Science Museum is just a darkened lot. But what is about to be built there, in Bicentennial Park on the water near downtown, could change Miami in a few ways, museum leaders say.

Construction will begin on the museum’s new $275 million facility in one week.

Computer animations show a stunning building that has many notable features, including a multi-story aquarium that will including the entire vertical ecosystem of South Florida – rising from coral reefs to fish and sharks to Everglades marsh to birds above. The sustainable building will use energy from water, wind, sun and even kids cranking and running around.

But there is a bigger view to recognize as well.

"The building itself is really our biggest exhibit,” said Gillian Thomas, the Miami Science Museum’s president and CEO. “So every single component of the building will be a surprise and you can learn from."

The Miami Science Museum’s vice chair, Joseph Falk, says what will rise in this empty lot will change the city.

"We are going to build a museum of science that is not a tourist attraction. It is a living breathing museum of science that will attract tourists, residents and students from all aspects of our society,” he said. “So it’s not just a tourist place. It’s a learning and experience place."

This weekend the museum’s supporters hold their annual fundraiser. They will need the money, as the museum is zeroing in on its final $70 million of private money for the project.

The fundraiser is Saturday night, and the groundbreaking is next Friday, Feb. 24. The entire project should be finished by early 2015.

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