The campaign will fund phase one of a master plan completed by the museum after a two-year planning process funded in part by a grant from the foundation. The plan calls for an exhibit designed for families with young children, a new main entrance and lobby, and other exterior improvements. At 21,000 square feet, the new exhibit will be as large most children's museums in the country and, with its immersive environment and emphasis on inquiry-based learning, will break new ground in the way museums introduce children to science.
Over the past five years, the foundation has invested more than $22 million in the museum and the Oklahoma Museum Network. To date, the museum has raised $15 million toward its campaign goal, which it hopes to achieve by the summer of 2015.
"It was obvious to our trustees that the Science Museum Oklahoma board and leadership staff made maximum benefit of their planning grant in preparing their grant application," said Reynolds Foundation board chair Fred W. Smith. "With the award of this capital grant, they will be able to improve their visitor experience, enhance their capability to promote informal discovery learning, and continue as a strong member of the Oklahoma Museum Network."