Archive for Saturday, August 13, 2011

Flint Hills center stays on schedule

August 13, 2011

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— A $24.5 million center that will chronicle the geology, biology and cultural history of the Flint Hills is on track to open to visitors in April.

While leading a tour of the construction site Friday morning, Flint Hills Discovery Center director Bob Workman said construction of the interactive learning center on the south end of Manhattan is on schedule and under budget.

The center will tell the story of the region’s band of prairie-covered hills through 10,000 square feet of interactive permanent exhibits, temporary exhibitions from other institutions, community programs and outreach activities. There also will be a cafe, gardens, store, classrooms, meeting rooms and Wi-Fi.

Limestone mined from the surrounding area forms the facade of the center, which is a project of the City of Manhattan and its South End Redevelopment Project. One of the most striking features is a 65-foot, circular glass-walled lobby.

There will be sustainable features, too, including a heating and air conditioning system supported by a geothermal well field.

About 60,000 people a year are expected to visit.

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