Suzanne Barbati, executive director of OH WOW! The Roger and Gloria Jones Children’s Center for Science & Technology, has announced that the official opening date for the center will be May 12, 2011. “Construction is ahead of schedule and our first exhibits will be delivered on December 21 so we are right on target,” she stated.
The capital campaign, too, is right on schedule, this according to Bruce Sherman, chairman of the “Science Makes Cents” campaign. He said that the Phase I goal of $1.5 million was achieved in November, allowing construction to begin. Phase II is now underway with a goal of raising $275,000. “The support of businesses, foundations and individuals of the community has been overwhelming, but we still have a way to go,” remarked Sherman, citing that naming rights and sponsorships remain available.
On Friday morning, checks were presented to the Center in the amount of $25,000 from The Rotary Club of Youngstown; $30,000 from Fireline Corporation; and $10,000 from Dominion. Ronald Faniro, the Center’s board president, also accepted a check in the amount of $7.00 from Liam and Kelsey Manley of Boardman, Ohio. The siblings raised the money by selling lemonade at their homemade stand.
The Center’s bright and modern main entrance awning and logo is now in place.
This coming February, OH WOW! will launch an eight-week competition that will be open to all families in the 5-county area. “It will involve solving clues, social media, and there will be an ever-growing list of prizes,” said Suzanne Barbati. “The only hint I can give to you right now is the phrase – ‘Where’s Wowzer?’” Details will be posted on the Center’s website very soon.
The focus of “OH WOW!” is providing hands-on, interactive experiences for children ages 0 thru 14 with accompanying opportunities for learners of all ages. The Center expects to have a regional impact, drawing between 25- to 30-thousand visitors in the first year from across the tri-state area.