On Monday, June 12 the Carnegie Science Center unveils its newest addition the 4-story PPG Science Pavilion

By: Sarah Gross

On Monday, June 12, the Carnegie Science Center revealed its the newest addition, the 48,000-square-foot, PPG Science Pavilion. The building officially opens to the public on Saturday, June 16.

The Carnegie Science Center plans to use the new $33 million building to further learning for children in STEM fields and to encourage interest and careers in the future.

“We are preparing today’s students for tomorrow’s opportunities,” PPG chairman and CEO, Michael McGarry said.

With 500,000 visitors yearly, the science center is already the city’s most visited museum; however, the new additions are expected to increase the attendance by 50 percent. In total, the PPG Pavilion boasts three exciting new features. The FedEx STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) learning labs encourage STEM education for both adults and children. In addition to the learning labs, the new space will be outlined with 9 specialized classrooms, including an early learning and wet lab rooms. The available space is also expected to play host for a number of upcoming summer camps.

The 14,000-square-foot Scaife Exhibit Gallery, which will host a variety of touring exhibitions starting with “The Art of the Brick” on June 16, currently has exhibits booked through 2020. The Scaife Exhibit Gallery will allow guests to interact with the exhibits, enhancing children’s problem-solving skills under the scope of the exhibit’s theme.

The top floor of the pavilion is home to the PointView Hall. With an astounding view of the downtown skyline, the hall will be used primarily as a conference and event space, with the capacity to accommodate 350 to 600 guests depending on the gathering. Currently, there are 17 conventions and events booked.

PPG and the Science Center have had a working partnership for over 35 years. However, PPG outdid themselves by making a generous donation in the construction of the new pavilion, donating $7.5 million to the SPARK! A Campaign for the Carnegie Science Center. The campaign launched in 2014 in an effort to raise money for Carnegie Science projects. The donation from PPG is the single largest gift donation to date for the science center and combined with the help of over 350 donors, a total of $46 million was donated to SPARK!, making the construction of the pavilion possible.

(left to right) PPG CEO Michael H McGarry, Carnegie Science Center co-directors, Ron Baillie, Anne Metzger, Allegheny County executive director Rich Fitzgerald and Mayor Bill Peduto stand outside the PointView Hall in the new PPG Science Pavilion. Photo by Sarah Gross.

The PPG Science Pavilion has also been LEED Gold certified by the United States Green Building Council, recognizing the pavilion as cost-efficient, healthy, and eco-friendly, according to science center staff.

During Monday’s announcement, Carnegie co-directors Anne Metzger and Ron Baillie, along with McGarry, painted the final brushstrokes onto the wall of the new building, signifying the completion of construction.

“This is more than just a building,” said Mayor Bill Peduto, who made an appearance in support of the expansion. “It happens in places like this. Where opportunities are given to children.”

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