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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Explorit Science Center cuts hours

Explorit Science Center on 2nd Street is making some scheduling changes.

The non-profit’s current six-day schedule has been cut in half. Saturday was the start of their new three-day schedule. The interactive science museum will now be open to the public on Tuesdays and weekends.

Peter Willson, director of marketing and development, said the change was market-driven.

“We have two to three times as many visitors at those times,” he said.

Although the hour change may seem like a drastic cut, Willson said the cut will not make a huge financial difference in the $1.6 million the museum owes its lender. Other fundraising efforts will help support the museum.

“Mounting financial pressures, such as a significant drop in individual contributions, smaller grant awards, larger than anticipated facility costs and a drop in program income, have combined to create this perfect financial storm for Explorit,” said executive director Lou Ziskind, in an online news release.

Explorit has been operating from its 2nd Street location parallel to I-80 for the past three years, although it is currently fighting to stay at the location.

Willson said the museum has received lots of community support, especially in a short time period. The science center is trying to buy time until summer when its summer programs are the biggest revenue generators.

“The best thing we have going on right now,” Willson said, “is our lender is motivated to have us stay as a tenant in this location.”

He added that Explorit’s board of directors top priority is to keep the current building to house the museum.

Last summer, Explorit was voted the best museum in Sacramento by Nickelodeon’s Parents’ Picks Awards and was featured on KCRA, Channel 3 News in Sacramento.

UC Davis senior managerial economics major Daniel Ooi recently became a marketing and business development intern at Explorit. He said the museum is filled with great people who love getting young kids and visitors involved.

In a worst-case scenario, Explorit may have to shut its doors to the public. Ooi said this would be a loss to the Davis community.

“The community of Davis will miss out on being able to learn about science without teaching,” he said. “[Explorit teaches science] in a way that makes kids feel like they aren’t learning.”

To get the community involved in saving the science center, Explorit has made a web page listing 10 things Davisites and Explorit fans can do keep the museum alive. For college students, Willson said there are plenty little things we can do.

“Next time it’s a rainy day, hop on in and visit,” he said. “When the family comes to visit – come on over here.”

SASHA LEKACH can be reached at city@theaggie.org.

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