This week the Cedar Rapids Science Center is packing up its offices and exhibits to move into its new permanent site.
The 2008 Floods forced the Science Center to move from its downtown location into Lindale Mall, where it later relocated from one floor to another.
But the not-for-profit science and technology museum now has found 31,000 square feet at 5824 Council Street NE in Cedar Rapids to call home.
Built to house Eagle Food Center, a grocery store, in 1979, the building’s most recent tenant was Rockwell Collins.
“We were in Lindale more long term than we thought we’d be,” said Science Center Executive Director Norah Hammond. ”We always knew it wasn’t our ultimate destination … but it was hard to find a building that was the right size and had enough parking.”
Hammond said the museum will be closed for about a week as it transitions to its new facility, but it will reopen with new exhibits that have been sitting in storage due to lack of space and new features. New exhibit topics include probability, color, brain games and light.
The science center also will expand programming for adults and children and the new facility will include a large maker space, which is intended to be a creative and innovation hub that will include 3D printers, plasma and CNC machines, and laser cutters.
“This new location gives us the ability to fulfill our mission by offering more programming and events,” Hammond said. “The mall was a little limiting in that regard.”
Hammond said the new location also allows room to grow.
“Over time we can build it out to add additional exhibits and programming if we’re able to get the funding to really outfit and update the building,” she said.