Otago Museum officials are considering a draft plan which
proposes spending up to $2 million to ''completely refit''
the museum's Discovery World science centre and create a
''flagship science communication gallery''.
The proposal was to undertake some of the biggest changes at
the science centre for more than a decade, and was part of a
draft strategic plan, tabled at an Otago Museum Trust Board
meeting this week.
The museum's stakeholders had earlier indicated that the
institution needed to invest significantly in its ''core
museum offering'' - namely its galleries, the draft plan
''In the run-up to our 150th birthday in 2018, we intend to
make this a clear priority,'' the plan report said.
''Discovery World is our most popular gallery, appealing both
to family and schools audiences.
''However, the gallery has not changed significantly since it
first opened, and the time has come to completely refit it
and create a flagship science communication gallery of which
the museum will be proud.''
It was proposed, in 2014-15, up to $2 million be spent on
renovating Discovery World, developing a new performance
area, a new laboratory, and new curiosity-driven interactive
The museum also intended to ''explore the option'' of
introducing a medium-sized planetarium, with 150 seats, but
this part of the project would be subject to a full business
The museum's newly appointed marketing and development
manager, Caroline Cook, said Discovery World, which included
the museum's Tropical Forest butterfly attraction, remained
The forest would remain a key part of the new-look science
centre, Ms Cook said.
But the museum wished to ensure the area remained ''vibrant
Museum visitors were now carrying and using smart phones and
other mobile devices, and a further challenge was to cater
for the interests of such visitors, including, potentially,
to provide information they might be able to access via their
phones, she said.
The board had discussed the draft plan but no final decisions
had been taken and the board would consider matters in more
detail in February.
Any refitting plans would also be subject to availability of
funds, she said.