Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Wonders of Wildlife museum in Springfield MO phased reopen 2011 & 2012; $25 mil expansion

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Notice from Rob Keck, Board Chair of the Wonders of Wildlife Museum currently undergoing substantial renovation in Springfield, Missouri USA:
“Since closing we have made substantial progress with the most visible being the construction of a new perimeter “ring road” with waterfalls and ponds, the exterior demolition and site work preparation for the building expansion, and the steel erection for the Conservation Education Center / Exhibition Hall. There has also been tremendous physical progress on our new Wildlife Galleries area.  However, by far the most significant progress we are making is in the “behind the scenes” development of the complex architectural plans required before each phase of the physical construction can begin.  All of these engineering and other development plans continue to advance rapidly with ongoing meetings of the design team and our world-renowned architectural firm PGAV.  There is a huge commitment to make sure this project is engineered properly, but it’s also been an eye-opener for me to see the complexity of this redesign that is so unlike the remodeling of a simple office building, home, or other structure.

“Phase 1, which includes the Wildlife Galleries area, is scheduled to reopen mid-2011.  The grand reopening of the entire Wonders of Wildlife facility is scheduled for late summer 2012.

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“I continue to be impressed with the creativity and commitment for excellence in this project. Thanks to the generous contributions of John Morris and Bass Pro Shops, the museum has been able to develop the plans for a world-class living facility that people from all across the country will want to visit.  During these challenging economic times it is important to note that as we embark on our expansion, we are doing so on very sound financial footing.  Over the past 5 years the museum has been very fortunate to have received private donations totaling over $19 million in cash plus an additional $2.5 million in pledges, making it possible for us to retire all long term debt and become a debt free institution.

“Additionally our ambitious $25million expansion project is being funded almost entirely by additional private cash contributions that total over $24 million.

“I have proudly volunteered to serve on this board since the beginning, watching the museum grow from a dream to a shared vision to one of the most visited paid museums in America.  To be sure, the WOW museum has become a beacon for the proud heritage of hunting and fishing and is a cornerstone for the future of conservation in America. Please know that we have a great fiduciary responsibility as a board, both to create a facility that will greatly enhance tourism revenues to the City of Springfield and to those donors who have trusted us with their contributions to re-create and re-construct a world-class facility.”

Judith Rubin
Judith Rubin
Judith Rubin ([email protected]) is a leading journalist, content marketing specialist and connector in the international attractions industry. She reports on design and technical design, production and project management, industry trends and company culture. From 2005-2020 she ran communications and publications for the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA). In 2013, she was honored with the TEA Service Award. She was development director of IMERSA and publicist for the Large Format Cinema Association, and has contributed to the publications of PLASA, IAAPA and the International Planetarium Society. Judith joined World’s Fair magazine in 1987, which introduced her to the attractions industry. She joined InPark in 2010. Judith earned a BFA from Pratt Institute. She has lived in Detroit, New York, Oakland, and now Saint Louis, where she is active in the local arts community.

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