• $700K study approved for possible Discovery Place upgrade

    By: John Ahrens

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The city of Charlotte voted Monday night to move forward with a $700,000 study to figure out upgrades for the Discovery Place in uptown Charlotte.

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

    Chief operating officer Joanie Philipp said the No. 1 priority will be the entrance.

    "This is a very confusing building for people,” Philipp said. “There are three entrances."

    The Stevens family found their way in OK. 

    "You get a chance to try out what works and what doesn't work," Cameron Stevens said.

    Discovery Place officials said they need more of the hands-on labs to get kids engaged in science and technology and more space for exhibits like the pulley system to teach engineering.

    "Nationally, there's a huge fear that we're not putting enough STEM-literate people in the pipeline to take these jobs," Stevens said.

    A big part of the need is making sure everything is up to specification. They may need to make the area little bigger because the specifications are strict.

    For instance, one tank holds a Mantis shrimp that could travel as fast as a 20-caliber bullet and break it.

    The last renovation at the Discovery Place cost the city more than $30 million.

    Philipp said that kind of money will eventually wheel its way back in.

    "Top exhibits pull people into this city and put people in beds, and hotels and restaurants," Philipp said.

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