THUNDER BAY – The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for FedNor, announced on Wednesday a FedNor investment of $1 million in support of the expansion of Science North in Northwestern Ontario.
“Science North is a strong and important partner in Northwestern Ontario, creating good jobs and inspiring an interest in science for young people across our region,” said Hajdu.
“Adding two new permanent tourism centres: a new facility in Thunder Bay and an expanded permanent facility in Kenora will ensure we can keep attracting and retaining people to our region, showing off all that we have to offer.”
The expansion consists of two permanent tourism centres located in Thunder Bay and Kenora, a project that has been in the works at Science North for over five years. Project lead, Emily Kerton says it’s amazing to see how far the project has come.
“I was one of the first people hired by Science North when we opened the satellite operation here in Thunder Bay in 2010, and ever since that moment I said how amazing would it be for our community to have a science centre just like in Sudbury,” she said.
“So it is really very amazing to see this dream coming to life.”
The project is currently in the Schematic Design Phase, in which a design professional describes the project three-dimensionally, and a range of alternative design concepts are explored to define the character of the completed project.
“We have hired an architectural firm as well as a visitor experience design firm and they are really bringing together our vision,” said Kerton.
“So we’re doing community engagement to talk to people about what they want to see in their science centres here in the Northwest, science centres plural, here, and in Kenora and we’re envisioning it."
Throughout this schematic design phase, Science North is holding open houses every Friday (except Canada Day) until September, to give community members a chance to say what they want to be featured in the new science centres.
“So what is it going to look like? What are you going to see, hear, feel and do when you walk into the doors of the science centre,” said Kerton.
“Then we’ll be moving on to the next phase of the project which is called design development and then further into construction pending funding in terms of that community engagement.”
The project could potentially be completed in five years, with the current number one location in consideration for the Thunder Bay campus being located at the Pool 6 dock at the marina.
For more information or to have your voice heard during this phase of the project, visit one of their Friday open houses at 12 Cumberland Street North or contact them through their website.