Home   |   News   |   Sports   |   Business   |   Opinion   |   Things to Do   |   Blogs   |   Photos   |   Video


Fort Discovery drawing interest

  • Follow Business

The expansive riverfront home of the defunct Fort Discovery museum doesn't have a new owner yet, but there are some solid prospects.

Back | Next
Fort Discovery closed in December, and the 125,000-square-foot riverfront property remains on the market for $5.5 million.   Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Fort Discovery closed in December, and the 125,000-square-foot riverfront property remains on the market for $5.5 million.

"We have four very viable groups looking at it," said Rob Dennis, the chief executive officer of the National Science Center, which closed the 125,000-square-foot attraction in December after announcing plans to move the organization to Washington, D.C.

The property, which includes a theater, restaurants and other amenities, is listed at $5.5 million, he said.

Officials had hoped to complete a sale during the first quarter of 2011. Now the goal is to have it sold by the end of June.

Dennis said he could not identify potential buyers, but believes any of them could transform the property into something beneficial for Augusta.

Among the four current suitors, "two have similar re-purposing thoughts, and one of them is educational," Dennis said. "The fourth hasn't discussed details of their plans."

The National Science Center, created in 1985, opened Fort Discovery in April 1997 to support the center's mission of improving interest in math, science and technology among younger pupils.

The group's restructuring plan included the move to Washington, but does not include any future plan to operate a museum.

Dennis said efforts to find a permanent new home in Washington remain incomplete.

"Right now our board's position is, we have so much going on at home, we need to be here awhile longer," he said.

Also under way are efforts to find homes for the dozens of interactive exhibits and displays still in the Fort Discovery property.

"We're still working out a lot of those details with the state of Georgia," Dennis said, adding that many exhibits were financed with a $10 million allocation from Georgia's Department of Education and other state sources.

The center is a unique partnership between National Science Center Inc., a nonprofit organization, and the Army.

Reach Rob Pavey at (706) 868-1222, ext. 119, or rob.pavey@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (7) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
georgiasouthern
5
Points
georgiasouthern 04/16/11 - 03:44 am
0
0
This would be an ideal

This would be an ideal location for Bass Pro!

Riverman1
79663
Points
Riverman1 04/16/11 - 05:24 am
0
0
I thought sale of the place

I thought sale of the place was imminent in Oct of 2009 according to one Commissioner before the vote on the TEE Center? If I lived in Port Royal, I'd be worried what was coming.

Riverman1
79663
Points
Riverman1 04/16/11 - 05:31 am
0
0
Those type exhibits from

Those type exhibits from places that are defunct end up in the strangest places. Anyone ever see that huge plastic 25 ft alligator in the yard of that little house on Belair Rd? Hilarious.

JazzyJoker
0
Points
JazzyJoker 04/16/11 - 08:40 am
0
0
Yes, lets not mourn the loss

Yes, lets not mourn the loss of a science center and instead turn it into a retail emporium!

Why not? It's not like kids here will ever learn to appreciate science or, even learn how to read.

John Locke
293
Points
John Locke 04/16/11 - 09:32 am
0
0
"We have so much going on at

"We have so much going on at home?" Who, what? I know people who lost their jobs, and now the CEO is still there? What's he CEO of? Who's paying him? Why are they paying him? I know a bit about this organization and it effectively doesn't exist, so what's this all about? The Army positions were slack jobs that really didn't do anything, so where did they go? A lot of unanswered questions and someone should investigate.

terminusmundi
6
Points
terminusmundi 04/16/11 - 07:27 pm
0
0
Wait, wait, wait. How and why

Wait, wait, wait.

How and why are you still employed, Rob? If you're not staying here, and you're not moving to Washington, what exactly are you doing? And you haven't even moved the exhibits yet? Are you kidding me? Let me guess, you fired the maintenance staff, so they can't help move the stuff, and you fired the housekeeping staff, so they can't help clean the building, and you fired the exhibit staff, so they can't do any programs, and you and the Board of Directors suddenly realized that you don't have anyone to do anything, so you're going to do nothing, which is what you've done for years and years, correct?

Good luck trying to get anyone to come back. Pathetic.

rosiet
0
Points
rosiet 04/18/11 - 11:16 pm
0
0
I like the last two comments.

I like the last two comments. I have to agree. The Army staff has moved to Ft. Gordon John. They are squeezed into a trailer out there. I will say that place did not have to close. Not at all. It was a needed thing in this area. He just didn't try. What a shame to put so many out of work because of the greed of a few and to rob the children of this area an educational place to go. The place needed updating and that money could have been gotten had he asked companies. Many were willing to help. He has hurt many. Obviously he and the board could care less. I wish them luck in their futures.

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs