SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and excited visitors gathered along San Francisco’s waterfront Wednesday morning for the ringing of an opening bell to announce that the new Exploratorium is up and running.
At the 9 a.m. dedication ceremony outside the 330,000-square-foot facility at Pier 15, board chairman George Cogan beamed as he stood before of a crowd of dignitaries, staff and visitors.
“Everyone in the Bay Area loves the Exploratorium,” Cogan said.
The interactive science museum reopened its doors Wednesday after the board raised $300 million in a capital campaign to build the new waterfront site.
The museum had been housed in a cavernous space at the Palace of Fine Arts in the Marina District for the past 40 years before shutting down on Jan. 2 for the move.
Now in a state-of-the-art facility that is three times larger with Bay and downtown views, the museum boasts 600 exhibits, including displays that delve into the science of human perception, psychology, biology, physics and more.
Executive director Dennis Bartels called the museum a “wonderful, zany learning laboratory.”
At its new location, the Exploratorium will be able to extend its classroom and teaching resources to about 1,000 educators a year, and will offer an expanded Explainer program for more than 300 orange-vested high school youths who serve as museum docents and guides.