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The Michigan Science Center, formerly The Detroit Science Center is a science museum in Detroit, Michigan. The center closed in 2011 and was re-opened December 26, 2012 as the Michigan Science Center.
The Science Center has Michigan’s only Chrysler IMAX Dome Theatre; the Dassault Systèmes Planetarium; the DTE Energy Sparks Theater; the Chrysler Science Stage; an 8,700-square-foot (810 m2) Science Hall for traveling exhibits; hands-on exhibit galleries focusing on space, life and physical science; the United States Steel Fun Factory; an exhibit gallery just for pint-size scientists; and a Special Events Lobby.
It has served more than 2.1 million visitors since July 28, 2001. It is one of the 10 largest science museums in the United States.
Dexter Ferry is credited for the vision and dedication that led to the creation of the Detroit Science Center. The Detroit area businessman and philanthropist founded the center in 1970. In 1978, the DSC moved to its current facility designed by Master Architect William Kessler of Detroit-based William Kessler Associates in the midtown cultural center adjacent to the Detroit Institute of Arts and Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.
The center was closed briefly in the early 1990s after losing funding from the State of Michigan, but re-opened in 1991. The Science Center operated until 1999 when it closed for construction on a $30 million renovation and expansion - tripling the available exhibit space and adding new theater and performance areas. Neumann/Smith Architecture completed the 67,600 sq ft (6,280 m2). addition and 51,000 sq ft (4,700 m2). renovation for The New Detroit Science Center. The Science Center had a grand re-opening celebration in July 2001 and continued to expand adding a new Digital Dome Planetarium in December 2001 and a 4D Toyota Engineering Theater in 2008.
In partnership with the Thompson Educational Foundation, the Detroit Science Center embarked on another expansion of 80,000 sq ft (7,400 m2). in April 2008 to create a new college-prep charter school named University Prep Science & Math Middle School on its downtown campus. The school facility has classrooms, gymnasium with locker rooms, food service, offices, and shares conference space and the lobby with the science center. Two Detroit companies completed the new addition, GunnLevine Architects (Architect of Record) and DeMaria Building Company, for school to open September 2009.
On September 26, 2011 the Science Center closed due to monetary issues. Several planned events, programs and trips were either postponed or rescheduled to take place at the Detroit Children's Museum. Ironically, the Detroit Children's Museum itself was closed in December 2011, also due to financial difficulties, but reopened in February 2012 only to Detroit Public School students and no longer in affiliation with the Detroit Science Center. Federal Funding restrictions preclude Detroit Public Schools from extending the museum’s services to non-DPS students or opening the museum to the general public.
On September 7, 2012, local Detroit news reports indicated that the facility could reopen under the name "The Michigan Science Center." A spokesperson says funding over the past year has been "significant" but failed to provide any numbers or elaborate any further. A board put together to revive the Science Center met on September 10, 2012 to discuss the future. There has been no set date for the facility to reopen.
As of November 13, 2012, according to the Science Center's official website, the Center remained closed, except for special events, due to lack of funding.
Announced on November 27, 2012, the center reopened as the Michigan Science Center on December 26, 2012.