Progress can be painfully slow. Even more so if you've been witness to the decade-old idea of someday seeing a regional science center in downtown. A failed bond issue, a couple of relocations, the creation of a partnership with the Children's Museum, a rebranding, and finally a scaled-down business plan. The new organization-Mobius looks to be leaner and meaner and hopefully greener than it was not-so-long ago. So are it's plans for the science center located on the North Bank of the river downtown.
The important thing is that Mobius is learning and growing. While we were hopeful for a William Mcdonough + Partners-designed sustainable building in our city, at 100,000 sf, it was big. Too big. The new size estimate of 50,000 - 75,000 sf seems more likely and much more in scale with our city. (NOTE: The design concept pictured above has been tabled and a new design will be developed.)
The reality is that the North Bank is a critical site for the future development of downtown. Placing an activity-node there like the Science Center is an excellent choice in our opinion. Consider for a moment the connections this site has:
- Kendall Yards - Phase I - 7 blocks away
- Spokane Art School - 1 block away
- Riverfront Park - across the river
- Spokane Arena - 1 block away
- A short walk from one of our most impoverished neighborhoods
The project is in an excellent position to capitalize on the momentum of these existing and proposed developments. Capitalizing on existing assests is what smart, growing, and healthy cities do. We encourage you to take walk through that area currently during mid-day or even night-time and let us know what kind of people-centered activity you see there (aside from parking).
But perhaps the most important aspect of Mobius' vision for the Science Center is that the location reinforces our belief that cities are for children and families. Keep your eyes and your wallet open for the beginning of the fundraising campaign. So the next time someone makes the now cliche' statement: "We moved here because Spokane is a great place to raise a family", ask them if they've donated to help fund the Science Center.
Think of it as a U-District for kiddies.