The Discovery Place Science Museum in uptown Charlotte has be a staple in our community for a long time. that may be about to end. I remember going as a child when i was in elementary school, I have so many fond memories of good times i have spent there.
The new generation may not get to see that because it may be razed and rebuilt in the city’s push to revitalize the outdated facility and the surrounding North Tryon corridor.
A “full demolition” is one of two scenarios Charlotte is exploring to reboot the museum that was built in 1981. The city and Mecklenburg County spent $31.6 million on Discovery Place renovations in 2010.
In a less drastic effort, Charlotte may also pursue a “complete rehab of (the) existing facility,” Tracy Dodson, the assistant city manager and economic development director, revealed at the Charlotte City Council’s annual retreat in Durham Wednesday.
But it remains unclear how Charlotte intends to finance such changes — and how much public money, most likely derived from tourism revenues, would be available.
Mayor Vi Lyles told reporters Wednesday that Discovery Place, a city-owned property, is “hugely significant” for STEM education and Charlotte’s workforce.
“When we look at other STEM-based museums, they are significantly changing so they’re more flexible and agile,” Lyles said. “If we have to tear down to build what’s right, that’s what we do.”
Across the street from Discovery Place, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s main branch at 310 N. Tryon St. is already slated for demolition in early 2021. A reimagined sleeker structure — featuring five levels of flexible spaces outfitted with modern technology — is expected to open in 2024, with construction costs estimated at $100 million.