Architecture and exhibit design firms HGA and Roto have been selected to develop the future Children’s Science Center in Loudoun County.
The announcement was made Tuesday in Ashburn as organizers hosted a fundraising campaign reception for the future regional resource aimed at promoting STEM learning, fueling the next generation workforce and identifying northern Virginia as a technology hub.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and his wife, Pam, joined the CSC’s board of directors, trustees and guests to celebrate the announcement in Ashburn. The goal is to continue closing the current $10 million gap on the $75 million project — something Northam said he feels confident will happen.
“When we talk about the impact of STEM, we are talking about our future and that of our children,” Northam said in a prepared statement. “It’s all about training tomorrow’s workforce and really knowing where the jobs of the 21st century are—they are in science, technology, engineering, the arts, mathematics, and in health care—and we want to encourage all of our children to go into these fields, especially here in the commonwealth of Virginia.”
The event was part of Launch the Future, the $75 million capital campaign to raise the funds needed to build a 70,000-square-foot interactive science center to be located on donated land at the Kincora development within the Dulles Technology Corridor in Loudoun County.
The center will be the first of its kind for the region.
Center officials said Roto and HGA teams have been tasked with bringing to life the vision behind the Launch the Future project: to create a world-class interactive science center that will ignite curiosity in people young and old.
The partners hope to complete design plans in an 18-month time frame.
Roto is a creative consultant and interdisciplinary design firm based in Dublin, Ohio. It has produced in more than 150 museums throughout the world with exhibits, attractions, and architectural features.
The company led the development of the initial concept master plan in partnership with the Children’s Science Center executive team and board of directors, the Science Museum of Virginia and the Northern Virginia community, with additional input from the Kincora development and statewide advisors.
“We have worked with the Roto team on a number of the museum’s signature exhibits, and they always do extraordinary work,” Science Museum of Virginia Chief Wonder Officer Richard Conti said in a prepared statement. “Their creativity, passion and spirit of collaboration are the perfect combination for turning ideas into memorable guest experiences. We are confident that HGA will design a distinctive building to house these exhibits and create a beloved institution for all of northern Virginia to enjoy.”
HGA, the multi-disciplinary design firm rooted in architecture and engineering, has several offices across the country and was founded in 1953. The company was responsible for the design of Capital One Hall in Tysons Corner and Loudoun County’s Brambleton Library.
“We are thrilled that our project will benefit from both the local northern Virginia knowledge and the national expertise of HGA, a firm well-regarded in our industry for designing highly effective and inspiring world-class cultural facilities,” Children’s Science Center Executive Director Adalene “Nene” Spivy said in a prepared statement.
Last month, Northwest Federal Credit Union committed $10 million toward the project.
Northwest Federal’s gift and other major contributions coming from the commonwealth and Loudoun County have accounted for 85 percent of the total funds required for the $75 million Launch the Future campaign, according to campaign officials. The science center is seeking additional partner organizations.
Loudoun County has committed $15 million to the center, while the state is contributing $40 million.
The future regional science center will be an extension of the Science Museum of Virginia, a state wide organization that attracts more than 500,000 guests each year and will benefit from shared resources from the museum’s four decades of informal STEM learning experiences at its locations in Richmond and Danville, officials stated.