City leaders approve use of $700K to study Discovery Place expansion

By: Joe Bruno

Updated:

City leaders approved to authorize using $700,000 of tax dollars to study how Discovery Place in uptown Charlotte can expand.

 The science museum completed a $31 million overhaul just seven years ago, but officials said their current space isn't enough.

Discovery Place officials said they need to upgrade to stay current. They are still showing IMAX movies on film instead of digital.

The new funding will figure out a master plan for the museum's future.

In January, the city council approved $950,000 out of tourism dollars to develop a master plan for the future of the tourist destination.

The facility is going to use the money to plan for the museum's future. Leaders said they have room to potentially expand out toward the parking garage or build up at least one additional story.

Tina Quizon, who visited Discovery Place Friday, said the upgrade is a worthy investment. Last year, more than 828,000 people visited the museum on North Tryon Street.

Some council members have worried the master plan study will lead to asking for $30-40 million from the city in the future.

Quizon said she wants Discovery Place to be the best it can be.

“I think it really is (a good investment) because it ignites that curiosity in learning,” Quizon said. “I believe it’s an important part of the city.”

The study will take about 18 months to complete. Discovery Place is also raising private dollars for future improvements.

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