SACRAMENTO, CA - An an old abandoned power plant in the River District will soon get new life.
The historic Pacific Gas and Electric plant is a a decaying reminder of what once powered homes and businesses; but it will get another chance to energize the community, in a whole new way, once it transforms into the Powerhouse Science Center.
It will be a relocation and expansion of the Discovery Museum Science and Space Center, which has been around for 60 years.
Existing features like the planetarium and the Challenger Learning Center will get a major upgrade and several interactive galleries will be added. High tech and hands on, the new facility is meant to be more than just a museum.
Ray Burnell of the Discovery Museum and Science Center said it will be a new paradigm of a science center.
"What powerhouse will do is expand from k to gray to engage them in the wonders, possibilities, and responsibilities of science," Burnell added.
The price tag is $78 million coming from a mix of of public and private funding.
A number of business leaders have signed on as an investment for the future of the region's growing tech sector.
"This is part of the next economy initiative in that we're looking to excite kids about getting involved in STEM careers," Michele Wong of CleanWorld said. She also serves as the chairman of the Powerhouse Board.
It will also help revitalize the River District.
Crews will break ground on Powerhouse this fall, constructing a new building, parking structure, and renovating the historic power plant.
But while it will take another year and a half to open to the public, the Discovery Museum isn't wasting anytime. It's already introduced new programs they hope will get children and adults excited about science.