Discovery Museum completes $8.8M campaign, to debut renovation

BY Zachary Comeau

Courtesy/Discovery Museums
Courtesy/Discovery Museums
A rendering of a new building planned at the Discovery Museums in Acton.

The renovated Discovery Museum in Acton will reopen its doors next month after an extensive project doubling the size of the original museum after an $8.8-million fundraising campaign.
Now, the children’s museum has twice the exhibit space and includes significant new galleries for STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) experiences.
The new 16,000-square-foot building allows for museums from two buildings on the site to be consolidated into just one building, allowing for expanded and improved amenities. The museum will unveil at least 10 new exhibits when it opens the new space. 
In addition, the museum is now entirely handicap accessible, the museum said in an announcement. 
To fund the new space, the museum launched a fundraising campaign in 2013 and outperformed its $8.4 million goal by about $400,000. 
The funding allowed for the building of Discovery Woods, a popular attraction featuring a large treehouse opened in 2016. 
The museum received a significant $4 million in matching grants from the Manton Foundation in New York City and donations from more than 200 individuals and organizations, the museum said. 
Nearly 40 percent of the donations came from first-time donors, the museum said.
“The most important thing we can do is to prepare kids to tackle the challenges of a rapidly changing, complex world,” said the museum’s CEO Neil Gordon. “The new Discovery Museum will inspire every child to find his or her most creative and curious self, and to discover the wonder and truth of science and the joy and importance of the natural world.”