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The Scoop

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Photo courtesy of Science Central

Science Central freezes, crushes long-term debt note

Statement as issued Wednesday by Science Central:

Fort Wayne, Indiana … Martin Fisher celebrated his fifth year as Executive Director of Science Central this month in an unusual fashion – he froze the long-term debt note of the popular hands-on science center in liquid nitrogen, then crushed it up in front of the cheering Science Central staff.

“This is the first time in the history of Science Central that we have been free of long-term debt obligations,” said Fisher. “We’ve turned the corner in making this organization fiscally sound, and we’re moving ahead into the next phase of life for Science Central.” The next phase includes the launch of Science on a Sphere, a new permanent exhibit that is scheduled to be added to the center in 2013.

Since taking the helm at Science Central in October 2007, Fisher has implemented many changes to make the organization stronger: a regular schedule of temporary traveling exhibits; new permanent exhibits; an on-going membership drive that has raised membership numbers to a record high; implemented advertising efforts; ensured that regular maintenance and repairs of the facility are completed; guided the development of new science education programs targeted to meet the needs of regional employers; and initiated the center’s first capital campaign since opening in 1995.

“We’ve achieved this payoff of our long-term debt through a variety of methods. We’ve been very careful with expenditures, often tightening our belt until it was painful. We had an excellent Finance Committee help guide us through some difficult times. And we’ve had a community who has continued to support our important mission during some of the worst economic times,” said Fisher. “We even managed to maintain our attendance numbers during the Clinton Street closure this year.”

In his position, Fisher is responsible for directing the operations, strategic planning, fundraising, community partnerships and staffing of one of the premiere regional cultural attractions. He leads the activities at the 70,000 square-foot educational science center that features 35,000 square feet of exhibit, classroom and office space. The science center has a staff of nearly 60 employees and an operating budget of $1.2 million.

For over 15 years, Science Central has provided a hands-on fun learning environment for our community. Through our 120+ exhibits, school tours, distance learning programs and weekend public events, we bring the excitement of science and technology to over 130,000 children and adults annually. While participating in one of our many programs or visiting the center, kids of all ages and abilities have participated in activities such as:

• Watching a spark of electricity move up two metal rods

• Learning about liquid nitrogen as part of a live demonstration

• Seeing how tidal pool animals live

• Touching a fossil formed here in Indiana

For more information, visit us at www.sciencecentral.org , or call 260-424-2400 X423.

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