February 1, 2018

Discovery Museum delays opening of $8.8M renovation

Courtesy/Discovery Museums
A rendering of a new building at the Discovery Museums in Acton.

Those hoping to catch a glimpse of Acton's new Discovery Museum after an $8.8-million renovation will have to wait just a little longer, as the museum has pushed back its opening date.

Originally scheduled for Feb. 10 and 11, the museum is now holding a grand opening weekend on March 3 and 4, including free admission for children 12 and under.

Ann Sgarzi, director of marketing for the museum, said the delay is due to some unforeseen delays in finalizing construction.

The museum may still open before then, but the event will still be held on the first weekend in March.

Now housed in just one building from two, the museum has twice the space at 16,000 square feet. The project began in 2013 with a fundraising campaign, which ended up taking in $8.8 million - about $400,000 more than its goal.

The original museum, housed in an 1883 Victorian home since 1972, will close permanently when the new space opens.

The new space includes several new exhibits, including the da Vinci Workshop, Simple Machines Gallery, Sound Gallery and Bessie's House.

The project also included the Discovery Woods, a popular attraction featuring a large treehouse that opened in 2016.

According to the museum, it received a significant $4 million in matching grants from the Manton Foundation in New York City and donations from more than 200 individuals and organizations.

Nearly 40 percent of the donations came from first-time donors, the museum said.

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