GREENSBORO, N.C. - Thanksgiving weekend is typically one of the busiest times for the Greensboro Science Center. The center re-branded itself and opened a new SciQuarium five months ago, promising to attract visitors from all over the state and even the country.
Nearly 185,000 people have visited the Greensboro Science Center since the SciQuarium opened back in June, including visitors from all fifty states. More than 10,000 of those visitors are from the Raleigh/Durham and Charlotte area.
"There's nothing like this in Ireland," Margaret Burke said. Burke came all the way from Ireland to visit her friend Sarah Quirk. They both decided to spend part of their time together at the Greensboro Science Center.
"I love the stingrays and the penguins. Penguins are one of my favorite animals, so it was really fun to actually get to see them," Burke said.
Quirk added, "Science has always been something I've really enjoyed and I love watching all the fish swim. 'Finding Nemo' is one of my favorite movies."
Bond money paid for the ten million dollar SciQuarium.
"The good thing is we plan to keep renovating and reinventing ourselves so that something new is always inside the SciQuarium for people to come see," VP of Financial Operations Beth Hemphill said.
Now the rest of the museum is about to get a facelift.
"All the historic areas out here that some say, maybe, are outdated...all of those go away. All of them get transformed," Executive Director Glenn Dobrogosz said.
A combination of bond money and private fundraising dollars will cover the cost of the replacing and renovating all these old exhibits.
"Our innovation team gets together and talks about what everyone's doing and what we can do that they're not doing," Dobrogosz said.
The ultimate goal is to make the Greensboro Science Center one of the top ten places to visit in the state.
"I think Greensboro is sitting on a goldmine. A science-based goldmine," Dobrogosz said.
Dobrogosz does not expect ticket prices to increase after the next phase of renovations. That's because the museum is re-purposing existing spaces, which won't require hiring extra people.
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