Renamed and rejuvenated, the SHU Discovery Museum opens its doors
FAIRFIELD, CT – A groundbreaking ceremony was held Friday to christen the new science center and discovery planetarium at the University of the Sacred Heart.
The university and local authorities were on hand to open the doors after the school donated around $ 250,000 in funds and in-kind services to help rejuvenate the facility.
“It’s a very, very big day for Discovery,” said Erika Eng, longtime executive director of the institution formerly known as the Discovery Museum and Planetarium, located at 4450 Park Ave., just off the across the border from Fairfield to Bridgeport.
Through its contribution, the university has fostered changes in the path of new infrastructure, advanced technology, and improvement of the physical aspects of the facility, such as landscaping.
As a result, the museum itself was able to free up more funds to draw attention to the many programs and exhibits it offers, including the new full-dome Henry B. duPont III digital planetarium, which features a dome of 33 feet in diameter and a dual-projector 4K laser projection system – reputed to be the most advanced in the state today.
“It has long been necessary to breathe new life into this institution,” said Eng, the operation having been closed for 18 months, since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
The shutdown, however, turned out to be positive, she said, as it led to a conversation with the university about the partnership.
“We have decided to stay closed a little longer,” she said, in order to make the improvements.
After this week’s public opening, scheduled for Saturday, visitors will have the chance to explore a wide range of exhibits, including those focusing on the five senses, the magic of flight, movement and movement, dinosaurs and all that concerns STEAM.
Robert Panza, chairman of the museum’s board, expressed his enthusiasm for the “reinvention and reimagining” of the installation.
âThank you for being here to celebrate with all of us,â he said, praising the work of the staff at SHU and the museum, who, he said, âhave been tireless in their efforts to make this day and a new beginning a reality “.
SHU President John Petillo said the new facility will be an integral part of the work being done in schools in the area, which he looks forward to seeing in use.
âIt was wonderful working with Erika and Bob,â he said at the ceremony, after which he went to visit the facilities.
âI hope we will have more exhibitions over the months and years,â he said.