OMSI Begins Plans to Expand to Central Oregon Coast
(Newport, Oregon) – There will be yet another fun and fascinating center of science on the central Oregon coast in the next year or two. Portland's Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) has announced it plans to build the Coastal Discovery Center in Newport, essentially expanding its presence to the beaches. (Above: part of the land where OMSI's new facility will be located).
OMSI recently announced it has selected Dangermond Keane Architecture (DKa) to lead the architectural design process for the new Coastal Discovery Center in Newport, Oregon. DKa’s design effort will be centered around 20 acres in the Coho/Brant area (west of Hwy 101 and adjacent to South Beach State Park) and will culminate in the creation of a year-round facility to accommodate OMSI’s outdoor school and summer camp programs.
The plans are currently to have the facility open in late 2014, but OMSI spokesman Mark Patel said that could easily change if any construction issues should arise.
The Coastal Discovery Center is envisioned as a 20-acre science camp and living laboratory with indoor teaching spaces, a dining/convening space, and lodging for 150 children, families, and school groups, eventually serving over 5,000 people a year. In the rich learning environment of Oregon’s Central Coast, subject matter will range from dune ecology and ocean observation to wave energy generation technologies and the sustainable fishing industry, augmenting and supporting Newport’s Ocean Observing Initiative and economic development strategies.
Jamie Hurd OMSI’s Vice President of Programs, said this week the museum is pleased to be working with Dka.
“Today’s selection brings us another step closer to realizing our vision of bringing powerful, year-round coastal programming to thousands of children,” Hurd said.
Newport already is home to the Oregon Coast Aquarium and the Hatfield Marine Science Center.
For the past 60 years OMSI has operated camps throughout Oregon’s diverse ecosystems, from their own Hancock Field Station in the high desert, to a host of leased sites in lush forests and mountain ranges, and along the stunning Oregon coast. At these camps over 100,000 children and families from all over Oregon have benefited from OMSI’s outdoor education programs.
OMSI's new addition to Newport is at least partially funded by gifts from John Gray and Investors XII. The center will be a permanent new home for its marine science education programs on a unique 20-acre coastal property.
Patel said Newport’s combination of natural environments and extraordinary access to the local science and education community already in place makes study at the new Coastal Discovery Center a unique learning proposition for students everywhere.
“We are delighted to have been selected by OMSI,” said Steve Dangermond, Principal Architect at DKa. “We have assembled a diverse team of experts, including an engineering firm from the Central Oregon Coast and a design team with deep understanding of the unique programmatic requirements for outdoor environmental education. Paired with OMSI’s deep knowledge in science education, we believe this new facility will offer truly exceptional educational experiences for all Oregonians. ”
OMSI was founded in 1944 and is now one of the nation’s leading science museums, a world-class tourist attraction, and an award-winning educational resource for kids – as well as the inner child of most adults. OMSI is located at 1945 SE Water Avenue, Portland, OR 97214. For general information, call 503.797.4000 or visit omsi.edu.
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