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April 17, 2014

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Henderson board advances plan to market science center

Science center site

The phrase “if you build it, they will come,” is an expression the Henderson Space and Science Center’s board of directors fears won’t happen without a marketing plan.

The board on Tuesday passed a strategic plan and directed staff to compile a timeline to move the project along, as well as establish a media relations department and a Web site. The plan includes devising a marketing strategy, developing partnerships with businesses, preparing the project’s conceptual design and obtaining funding.

Board President James B. Gibson asked board members to pass the plan on the condition that adjustments could be made in the future, if needed.

“We have so much to do, and it’s going to be a while until we can even get to the edges of it,” Gibson said.

In December, the Henderson City Council approved a 160-acre lot of city-owned land at U.S. 95 and Galleria Drive for the site.

The area will be a “mixed-use” plot with the science center serving as the centerpiece surrounded by an amphitheatre and discovery zone, said Eddie Dichter, Henderson's community developer.

He said city crews have begun moving dirt in one part of the lot but are waiting for researchers evaluate the best type of soil compatible with the land.

A mobile educational exhibit program was also thrown into the mix Tuesday as a way to promote the center and educate Clark County students. Staff members need to look at how establishing a mobile exhibit would affect funding for the facility, Gibson said.

“We don’t want to shut the door on things but know that we can’t spend $5 to $10 million (on the mobile program),” he said.

If the board pursued a mobile exhibit, a new budget might have to be presented to the Henderson City Council for approval. As of now, the center is estimated to cost $63 million.

CORRECTION: This story was changed to correct that former Henderson Mayor James B. Gibson is now the president of the science center board. | (February 24, 2010)

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