Discovery Center Meets Money Goal; Project Up for Bid

TOPEKA -- Executive Director Joanne Morrell says they were "still counting the money coming in, after 11:30 last night.'

By the time the moneyraising deadline arrived and the smoke cleared.. backers of the Kansas Children's Discovery Center said they had reached their goal, and then some, for planning to move to the next phase for construction of the Center.

Morrell announced the group has commitments totalling $6,088,447 for the project. The innovative learning center for children and teens will plan on groundbreaking this fall, with the paperwork already filed today to place the project up for a construction bid.

It is proposed to be built on 9.4 acres near 10th and Gage, diagonally across from the Topeka Zoo, at Gage Park. The City of Topeka leased the land to the board for $1 a year. Construction is expected to take one year, with the grand opening planned for 2010.

Morrell said the outpouring from the Topeka community was amazing: $1.2 million of the money was contributed in the final two months of the fundraising drive, with an additional $183,000 donated on the deadline day of September 3th alone! The board thanks all 887 donors who contributed.

Corporate donors included Stormont-Vail and Hill's Pet Products, each pledging $250,000 to make the Center a reality. The Stormont-Vail total included individual contributions from a large number of doctors and staff.


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