Otago Museum plans to spend about $3.5 million
redeveloping its Discovery World science centre, including
boosting the floor area by 70% or more.
Museum director Dr Ian Griffin said it had been seven years
since the facility had been changed and this ''massive,
important'' redevelopment project aimed to make Discovery
World the country's leading science centre.
The museum has already sent out requests for design concept
proposals involving the redevelopment to firms in four
countries. Otago Polytechnic also seems likely to submit a
The requests went to three firms in the United States, four
in the UK, one in Germany and three in New Zealand, museum
Firms have been asked to respond with initial proposals by
August 1 and the successful design team will be awarded the
project by October 24.
A total of $2 million had been allocated for redeveloping the
existing science centre, including adding a new ''Beautiful
Science'' area, and a manager's office.
A further $1 million has been allocated to creating a
proposed planetarium and astronomy introduction area and
$500,000 set aside for redevelopment of the Discovery Pad
Learning Zone and associated laboratory.
The overall project is to be completed by 2016.
The redevelopment request for proposal document was tabled at
the Otago Museum Trust Board's meeting yesterday.
The 550sq m science centre, located on the first floor, has
been running since 1996 and attracts more than 100,000
visitors a year.
An extra 378sq m of space has been allocated for the
redevelopment, enabling the floor area to be expanded, and
the existing Barclay lecture theatre and proposed planetarium
will be incorporated.
The science centre adjoins the popular Tropical Forest, which
is home to hundreds of exotic butterflies.
The Tropical Forest is not included in the redevelopment
proposal but a 104sq m Tropical Forest Discovery Zone
connecting Discovery World with the Tropical Forest will also
Also to be redeveloped is a 275sq m Discovery Pad located on
the level above the Discovery zone and consisting of a series
of ''outdated'' facilities, including a ''simple classroom'',
the redevelopment document says.
Museum marketing and development director Caroline Cook said
it was hoped the Tropical Forest would remain open throughout