Greensboro Science Center is Thinking BIG - and it's Paying Off!
As reported in the Greensboro News & Record 1/13/17 - -
The Greensboro Science Center plans to double the size of its zoo, adding exhibits for pygmy hippos, Chilean flamingos, modern-day velociraptors and other endangered animals.
Did we mention the pygmy hippos — or as center CEO Glenn Dobrogosz called them, "little hippos with a big hippo attitude?"
The center announced the $10 million project, and the capital campaign that goes with it, to top donors and other officials Thursday night. Dubbed "Revolution Ridge — Life on the Edge," the project will be the biggest expansion at the center since 2012, when it opened the $11.5 million Carolina SciQuarium.
Center officials said they have raised $8.3 million of the $10 million needed for the expansion.
Sue Cole, chairwoman of the center's capital campaign, said they're asking people in the community to help raise the rest, to "make an investment in the science center.
"Yes, with money, but also with time and talent," she said.
An anonymous donor has offered to match 50 cents for every $1 donated up to $500,000.
Named for its proximity to the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, where the Battle of Guilford Courthouse was fought, Revolution Ridge will greatly expand the center's 22-acre footprint off Lawndale Drive.
It will add roughly 11 acres of zoo exhibits at the part of the center closest to Greensboro Jaycee Park. It'll include a large amphitheater, which will serve as an outdoor classroom to bring visitors closer to the wildlife.
Visitors will be able to look down on Revolution Ridge from higher points at the center, particularly from the spot where the popular gibbons live.
Peter Sollogub, one of the project's architects, said the plan calls for working with the landscape's natural roll, something he called "working with (the land) instead of against it."
Dobrogosz and other center employees gushed Thursday about how interesting the new animals will be.
Think of the cassowary, Dobrogosz said, like the velociraptors from "Jurrasic Park" — vicious creatures that would disembowel you given the chance.
And the okapi, or forest giraffes, whose fur feels as soft as velvet, he said.
And the pygmy hippos, who make the cutest babies you've ever seen, he said.
"Our heads are spinning," he said, "but with elation because so many things are happening."