Discovery Park work to resume
Posted: Friday, January 8, 2010 9:34 pm
The Kirkland Foundation has selected a new architect and is in process of negotiating a contract to resume work on Discovery Park of America by mid-January.
Jim Rippy, chairman of Discovery Park said, “After an exhaustive search process, the Kirkland Foundation has tentatively reached agreement with Verner Johnson Associates of Boston to begin the design process for Discovery Center — the main museum building — and to implement the new site master plan for the 50-acre site, which is located between the proposed I-69 and Everett Boulevard, across from Union City Second Baptist Church.
“More than 70 architects expressed interest in the project, including many internationally prominent architects. Utilizing a thorough evaluation process, the list was narrowed to five firms that made extensive presentations about their capabilities and experience. It was a difficult choice but we’re delighted with our selection. Clearly, Verner Johnson has the experience and expertise to design Discovery Park so that it is the exceptional venue that is envisioned by the Kirkland Foundation and our many volunteers.”
Rippy added, “While a few contract details still have to be resolved before it’s a ‘done deal,’ we’re confident this will be done very soon. Verner Johnson has scheduled two visits to Union City to begin the work. They’ll be here Wednesday and Thursday to begin overall planning and again Jan. 25-27 to meet with our committees.”
Verner Johnson Associates specializes in museum design and has planned and designed museums for 30 years. The firm has completed more than 200 museum projects, including a number of projects for The Smithsonian, as well as the Louvre in Paris. They also claim several science museums, including the Cumberland Science Museum in Nashville and St. Louis Science Center; history museums, such as the Tennessee State Museum; and art museums.
A new completion date for Discovery Park has not yet been established, but design and construction is expected to take at least two years, a spokesman said.
Published in The Messenger 1.8.10