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Saint Louis Science Centre Announces New Exhibition Hall designed by PGAV Destinations

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A Permanent, Expanded Space will be Home to Traveling Exhibitions and Major Events

The Saint Louis Science Center announced today it will break ground on a new exhibition hall within the next few weeks. The 13, 000 square foot addition, designed by PGAV Destinations and to be built by Alberici Constructors, will provide a needed venue to better accommodate traveling exhibitions like
Real Pirates. The hall, scheduled to open next summer, will connect to the east side of the Science Center, just south of its main entrance.

Museum officials said the EXPLORADOME, the familiar, bubble-like structure just west of the Science Center’s main building, is nearing the end of its lifespan and needs to be replaced. In addition to the benefit of a permanent structure, the new hall will provide 12, 000 net square feet of permanent exhibit space, making the Science Center even more appealing to companies seeking venues for blockbuster exhibitions. The project also includes a distinctive rooftop terrace, which will provide a unique setting for outdoor exhibits, educational programs and special events.  

“We’ve always planned to replace the EXPLORADOME with a permanent exhibition space, ” said Doug King, President and CEO of the Science Center. “PGAV has done a phenomenal job of designing a practical space that fits our needs and that will enhance the façade of our building and our visitors’ experiences.”

Mike Konzen, Principal of PGAV Destinations, said, “We have been honored to work with the team at the Saint Louis Science Center and believe this new venue will help to support the institution’s tradition of outstanding programming.”

The project was designed to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. The green roof is a major component in this certification, and is unique among green roof designs because it will also serve a functional purpose as venue for outdoor exhibits, educational programs and special events. The project also includes state-of-the-art energy compliant heating, cooling and lighting systems, and portions of the existing equipment will be replaced with more energy efficient models during construction. Other sustainable processes include diversion of construction waste, use of recycled content and regionally available materials, low emitting volatile organic compounds, and indoor air quality management during construction.

The Science Center has retained Alberici Constructors as the Construction Manager, and site preparation has already begun. Alberici has performed projects for the Science Center previously. They completed the museum addition on Oakland Avenue and pedestrian bridge over Highway 40 in 1991 and built the EXPLORADOME in the 1997.

“Alberici is proud to return to the Science Center to build this one-of-a-kind exhibition space, ” said Alberici Chief Operating Officer LeRoy Stromberg. “We look forward to applying our expertise on complex buildings and sustainable construction to this project.”

This capital expansion has been supported by generous commitments from private and corporate donors. In addition, privately placed tax-exempt bonds are being issued to provide needed bridge financing.

Science Center operations continue to be supported by tax proceeds from the Metropolitan Zoological Park and Museum District. No tax funds received will be used for this expansion.

The Science Center will remain open to the public during construction. For more information on the project, daily hours and directions, visit slsc.org/exhibitionhallexpansion

About Saint Louis Science Center

The Saint Louis Science Center is one of the top five science centers in the United States, serving 1.2 million visitors annually. Recently named one of the Top 10 Science Centers for Families by Parents magazine and one of America’s most visited museums by Forbes Traveler Magazine, – the only museum in Missouri to be named to either list – the Saint Louis Science Center complex includes a four-story OMNIMAX Theater, the air-supported EXPLORADOME and the James S. McDonnell Planetarium. Its mission is to ignite and sustain lifelong science and technology learning.  For more information about the Saint Louis Science Center and its programs, visit slsc.org

About PGAV Destinations  

PGAV Destinations is a global leader in the planning and design of unique destinations. Now in its fifth decade, the practice has evolved to become the ideal destination-consulting partner, skilled at developing growth-oriented master plans and translating those plans into successful projects. No other firm offers such an integrated approach to destination planning.  

PGAV’s key clients include industry leaders such as Delaware North, SeaWorkd Parks and Entertainment the Biltmore Companies, Bass Pro Shops, Ameristar Casinos, Universal Studios, The Gettysburg Foundation, Niagara Parks Commission, the Saint Louis Zoo, and many others. Recent assignments include planning and design at many of the world’s “must see” destinations, including the Grand Canyon, Biltmore Estate, Kennedy Space Center, Hearst Castle, the Georgia Aquarium, the Hoover Dam, and SeaWorld Adventure Parks. www.pgavdestinations.com

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