Plans moving forward to revive vacant Science Center in St. Pete

Pinellas County

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – The once-popular Science Center in St. Petersburg is looking to come back to life. City Councilmember Robert Blackmon has been wanting this to happen and now that dream looks to be moving closer to reality.

Federal and state money will help the plans to renovate the Science Center move forward, a facility that has been vacant for years.

“By putting $3.5 to $4 million into this facility we will be turning it into a $20 million showpiece,” said Blackmon.

Democratic State Senator Darryl Rouson and Republican State Representative Linda Chaney were able to secure $500,000 in state money towards saving the Science Center.

Blackmon tells 8 On Your Side they’re also expecting money from the federal government.

“Congressman Crist has filed an appropriation and we are preliminary in the budget for $3 million,” added Blackmon.

Rep. Linda Chaney called the Science Center an iconic program that needs to be preserved.

“All my children came here. Us moms hopped in our vans and brought 10 to 20 kids every summer. This was their favorite thing,” said Chaney.

Pathfinder Outdoor Education is one of the first non-profits to join this project, looking to use the Science Center once renovations are complete.

“Being able to bring that back to life and really outreach to much more of the needing citizens in our community, that’s huge for us,” said Katie Horal, a board member for Pathfinder Outdoor Education.

Blackmon tells 8 On Your Side there is one more meeting at the city level and then he hopes to start renovations in January, with doors opening in late 2022 or early 2023.

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