by Mark Neuman 
Construction continues on the new Environmental Learning Center located at the north end of Seahurst Park.
â€œThe vision of the Environmental Science Center (ESC) is to construct a world-class, state-of-the-art Learning Center,â€ said Jan Glick, ESC Executive Director. â€œThe framing is almost done. As the fall comes in itâ€™ll be sealed up and roofed. To finish the project we still have to raise an additional $350,000.â€
From the ESCâ€™s website:
â€œThe new Learning Center will be constructed on the former site of the Caretakersâ€™s Cottage, and will be built to include many green features. It will be located conveniently next to a freshwater stream, .7 mile of saltwater waterfront, plus 178 acres of forested trails which all will be incorporated into ESCâ€™s curriculum.
In addition, the Learning Center will accommodate two full classrooms (fifty person capacity) of students or community groups for environmental educational programs.â€
Target date for building completion is April 2010.
â€œWe have raised about $950,000 going back to 2001,â€ Glick said. â€œWe need to raise another $350,000 to pay for the $1.3 million project.
â€œWe are in discussions with several foundations and corporations in Washington state. We are optimistic we will be raising some significant portion of the needed $350,000 from institutional donors.â€
But the probable size of those potential grants still leaves a gap between realized and needed funds.
â€œThe other thing that is happening right now is that the price tag on the project is $100,000 lower than first estimated a few years ago. This is due to the current soft construction economy,â€ Glick said. â€œWe are now receiving lower bids from various contractors.
â€œThis combination of interest from institutional funders and the lower cost is providing us an opportunity to finish off the fundraising.â€
This is where area residents can help, Glick points out.
â€œWe are making an appeal to the community now to make donations and help open up to the public this community asset. Itâ€™s a great community asset. It will be open to the public. It will be free.
â€œWe serve over 10,000 kids a year, mostly from the Highline School District but also from all over the Puget Sound area.
â€œWeâ€™ll have indoor demonstrations and exhibits. It is located right next door to the Marine Technology Center and its salmon hatchery.â€
The ESC also offers naming and recognition opportunities for Learning Center donors. Contact the ESC office for further information.
The ESC is a 501(c)3 organization and contributions are tax deductible.
For online donation information go to:
Then click “Capital Campaign” on the left hand side.
Or call 206-517-5199 and talk to Jan Glick directly.
Environmental Science Center
126 SW 148th Street
Burien, WA 98166
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