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Museum marks opening of education center

The North Education Center expansion at The Bishop encompasses 12,600 square feet of new and renovated classroom and exhibition space.

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  • | 4:41 p.m. October 1, 2019
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  • Manatee-Sarasota
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BRADENTON — Community leaders and museum staff gathered at The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature on Tuesday to mark the opening of the new North Education Center and its cornerstone permanent exhibition, the Mosaic Backyard Universe.

The North Education Center expansion, which includes the Backyard, encompasses 12,600 square feet of new and renovated classroom and exhibition space and adds 15,300 square feet of outdoor multi-use space, according to a press release. 

The Mosaic Backyard Universe includes a scale model of the solar system, freshwater pond with native turtles, science shed, fossil dig pit, cardboard rocket and a life-sized oak tree.

“This is an extraordinary milestone for The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature and the community,” says CEO Brynne Anne Besio in a statement. “We were exploring ways to better serve young children and their families when Mosaic came to us and said they’d like to help. Thanks to their partnership and transformational gift, today we are opening an exhibition unlike anything else in the region.” 

Early support for the expansion came from Mosaic and The Mosaic Company Foundation, which provided financial support in the form of a $1.3 million grant.

Other support came from the Manatee County Board of County Commissioners; the Manatee County Tourism Development Council; the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau; donations and grants from private individuals and foundations; grants from the state of Florida; and donations from private business.

Construction of the North Education Center and Mosaic Backyard Universe was part of a larger overall reimagining of the museum, which included planetarium upgrades, development of an  interactive app, facility upgrades (including the Parker Manatee Rehabilitation Habitat, the roof, chiller, security cameras and phone system) and a new name and brand identity



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