FLINT, MI — After a five-year hiatus and a $30 million renovation, the Sloan Museum of Discovery is set to reopen to the public on July 16-17 during an opening weekend.
The museum held a media day on Thursday July 14 which included the official inauguration ceremony.
“It’s going to be a showcase and it’s going to be a wonderful day for people across the state of Michigan and even outside the state lines,” Governor Gretchen Whitmer said at Thursday’s ceremony. “There’s a lot to get excited about in this museum, from hands-on science and engineering experiences to the creative space offering high-tech careers and skilled trades to inspire future generations of innovators. ”
More than 95% of the renovations were completed through donations from private foundations, corporations and individuals.
Located on the Flint Cultural Center campus in Flint, the Sloan Museum of Discovery includes four hands-on learning galleries and an exhibit hall for special traveling exhibits.
The four galleries and the exhibition hall are:
• Discovery Hall Science Gallery. The museum includes a new interactive science gallery that allows visitors to fully engage in the exploration of earth and physical sciences.
• Hagerman Street Early Learning Gallery. This will prepare children for kindergarten through play-centered exploration.
• The History Gallery. This presents the life of the inhabitants of Genesee County from the first Native Americans to the present day.
• The Durant Gallery. It is an extension of the History Gallery and will feature Sloan’s collection of rare vehicles chronicling Flint’s industrial history.
• The Fun Gallery showroom. The hall is a 24-foot-tall gallery and will host special traveling exhibitions beginning in July 2023.
The Sloan Museum opened in 1966 as the Sloan Panorama of Transportation, named after Alfred P. Sloan, Chairman and CEO of General Motors.
The new building is twice the size of the original and spans 107.00 square feet.
Through the Genesee County Arts Education and Cultural Millage which was passed in 2018, general admission is free for residents of Genesee County.
“Today was the culmination of a huge community effort,” said Todd K. Slisher, executive director of the Sloan Museum of Discovery and Longway Planetarium. “Although we cut the ribbon today, it’s been five or six years of work.”
Slisher worked with the Sloan Museum for eight years, previously working with the Michigan Science Center. He has a background in astronomy and physics and added that the museum is expected to attract tourists from across the state.
“This is a statewide resource, and we want everyone to come see it,” Slisher said.
Flint Mayor Sheldon Neely was present and spoke in front of the audience for a few minutes.
“It’s going to make people feel young and go beyond everyday reality,” Neely said.
Cathy Gentry, director of business operations for the Sloan Museum and the Longway Planetarium, explained how the museum is more aesthetically pleasing than the old one.
“In the science center and the children’s gallery, there’s a lot more natural light,” said Gentry, who has worked with Sloan since 2008. “The lobby feels a lot more open because before there were no windows. and he felt very closed off.”
More information can be found at https://sloanlongway.org/discoversloan.
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