DALLAS, March 11, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Recalling the years when many dismissed the idea of a new science museum in Dallas, longtime board member David Corrigan led a celebratory toast as topping out ceremonies were held yesterday for the Perot Museum of Nature & Science. Hundreds cheered the milestone as Ross and Margot Perot made the "official call" instructing the Balfour Beatty crane operator to hoist the steel beam to the top of the structure.
"We hoped for this day when we began talking 20 years ago about building a new science museum for Dallas... so to see that final beam move into place is really meaningful," said Corrigan. "Today happened because you believed, you never gave up, you put in the work and the resources, and we thank you."
Ross and Margot Perot, their five children and extended family members along with Pritzker Prize-winning architect Thom Mayne were the last to sign the beam. In May 2008, the Perot children made a $50-million gift to the Museum in honor of their parents, Margot and Ross Perot. The Victory Park facility is now named in their honor. The Perot children are Katherine Reeves, Carolyn Rathjen, Suzanne McGee, Nancy Perot and Ross Perot, Jr.
"This is an exciting day for the children of North Texas," said Ross Perot. "It means we are much closer to opening one of the finest science museums in the country. North Texas children will benefit greatly from the exposure to math, science and technology. And I'm sure it will inspire many young people to pursue careers in the sciences. That will be great for our region and our country."
Unlike many topping out beams buried that are behind walls and wiring, these "symbolic" beams will be prominently positioned in a permanent spot within the glass walls of the building elevators.
To date the Museum has raised $153 million of the $185-million campaign goal. With $32 million remaining, the Museum recently received a substantial boost when an anonymous donor offered a $10-million challenge grant. Inspired by this gift and in hopes of completing the fundraising campaign by the end of 2011, the Museum has launched a communitywide fundraising campaign entitled "Every Gift Counts...Twice" that doubles the impact of every contribution.
The Perot Museum of Nature & Science is currently under construction on a 4.7-acre site located at 1155 Broom Street at the northwest corner of Woodall Rodgers and Field Street in Victory Park adjacent to downtown Dallas. Mayne and his California firm Morphosis are the design architects. The museum is projected to open in early 2013.
The facility's interior will include five floors of public space featuring 10 permanent exhibition halls, including a children's museum and outdoor playspace/courtyard; an expansive glass-enclosed lobby and adjacent outdoor terrace with a downtown view; state-of-the art exhibition hall designed to host world-class traveling exhibitions; an education wing equipped with six learning labs; a large-format, multi-media digital cinema with seating for 300; flexible-space auditorium; public cafe; retail store; visible exhibit workshops; and offices.
Lastly, the building itself will be used as a "living" example of engineering, sustainability and technology at work.
To donate to the Expansion Campaign, go to natureandscience.org and click on "Donate Now" or contact Mary Crain at 972-201-0555 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about the Perot Museum of Nature & Science and the expansion campaign, please go to natureandscience.org.
SOURCE Museum of Nature & Science