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New Science Center Closer To Becoming Reality


On Thursday, the Sacramento City Council will consider whether to authorize $29 million dollars in bonds to help build a new Powerhouse Science Center.

If the council approves, the new center would break ground in 2015 next to the old PG&E building on Jibboom Street and near the Sacramento River. 

Rachel Hazlewood is the project manager for the City. She says the center will include a planetarium and exhibit space. 

"This space is going to allow them to expand their programs, to bring more children in, and then really be a tourist destination. I think if you look around the United States, every great city has a science center and they use it for both tourism purposes, but also for educational purposes.

She says $20 million has already been raised thanks in part to grants from local governments, utilities, and corporations –including PG&E, SMUD, and Aerojet.

"There's also a very strong founding-partner program, which includes small donors, local people who are very interested in seeing this happen as well as small businesses throughout the region."

Hazlewood says the existing center on Auburn Boulevard has outgrown its space. 

The bonds would be issued by the California Municipal Finance Authority and would be paid off by the science center.

A planned second phase of the project includes a $40 million renovation of the PG&E building.

The City hopes private financing will help pay for it.

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