Rockford hopes to be dinosaur capital of the world - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Rockford hopes to be dinosaur capital of the world

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ROCKFORD (WREX) - The Burpee and Discovery Center museums break ground on a $10 million expansion on the banks of the Rock River.

It took four years to raise the money for the project that includes a new exhibition hall for Burpee and a new special events hall for the Discovery Center.

"This is a culmination of four years of very hard work trying to raise the funds. We're very excited about it. The impact on Rockford we think is going to be significant to tourism, reputation. We think we're going to be the dinosaur capital of the world," said Burpee Museum Director Dr. Alan Brown.

"To live in a community like Rockford that really and truly appreciates and supports the attractions here is quite a compliment, I think, to the citizens of Rockford," said Discovery Center Executive Director Sarah Wolf.

More than 800 contributors put in money to pay for the project.

Construction should be completed by next summer.

Project Details - Information from Press Release

Burpee Museum of Natural History

  • New paleo hall
  • Special traveling exhibition hall connected to and shared with Discovery Center
  • New multi-purpose room/special events room
  • Riverview Terrace
  • New classroom
  • Renovating NIU/Burpee fossil prep lab

Discovery Center

  • Expansion of Tot Spot Gallery - special area for children age six and younger
  • Outdoor courtyard connected to riverwalk
  • Additional gallery space for new agricultural exhibition
  • New first floor classrooms and multi-purpose room
  • New special events hall
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