No, that's not an image from an episode of PBS's Magic School Bus series. The long-empty new building next to the Lake View Terrace Library at the Hansen Dam Rec Area will finally open in November as a new science museum operated by the OC's Discovery Science Center, reports the the LA Times. Now that the Discovery Science Center is taking over, the 71,000-square-foot space—to be known as Discovery Cube Los Angeles—will be outfitted with a 4D theater, plus exhibits and programs, many of them geared toward science curricula for kindergarten through high school students. Did someone say class field trip?
The drama surrounding this (currently) empty shell of a building has dragged on for years: it was originally intended to be a Children's Museum of Los Angeles, and AGPS Architecture finished the building years ago, but the museum went bankrupt, leaving the city to take up ownership of the place in 2009. It was also under the gun to fill the space fast: if the building wasn't occupied by 2015, the city would have to pay back the $16.2 million in grants it used to help build the structure. Now that the Discovery Cube LA is moving in and opening November 13, that's no longer an issue. Phew.
A rep for the two museums says he expects attendance at the new venue to be about 180,000 people in its first year. Hopefully his estimates are on point: the operating costs of the museum are going to be paid by revenue from ticket sales and fundraising. Fingers crossed that there will also be a free day for this new facility, as there is at its sister museum in Santa Ana. Though LA has a similarly-named science museum in Exposition Park (California Science Center), this is big for Lake View Terrace—"a community that hasn't had this kind of iconic, exciting facility," says former city controller and Valley native Wendy Gruel.
· Discovery Science Center's L.A. offshoot museum to open in November [LAT]
· Discovery Science Foundation Embarks on Regional Plan to Expand Science Learning in Southern California [BusinessWire]
· City Passes Plan to Finally Start Running the Children's Museum [Curbed LA]