New details are now emerging as Omaha’s billion dollar convention district transformation continues with the announcement of a new $101 million science center. The 82,000 square-foot facility will be located just east of the city’s downtown convention center and arena.
“The enhanced riverfront is set to become one of the city’s most popular entertainment districts, and this new addition, situated in the downtown convention district, will add yet another walkable attraction for convention attendees,” said Visit Omaha Interim Executive Director Deborah Ward.
The science center is being designed to inspire curiosity in the STEM subjects - science, technology, engineering and math – and will feature the latest technology along with hands-on, interactive exhibits, and creative programming for both children and adults. Construction of the science center will begin this fall with the opening planned for 2023.
This new attraction is part of the city’s downtown development project known as The RiverFront. It includes the city’s three downtown riverfront parks – Gene Leahy Mall, Heartland of America Park, and Lewis & Clark Landing. Steps away from the downtown convention center, visitors will enjoy features like an urban beach, lake-edge amphitheater, racing slides, a scenic boardwalk along the river’s edge, and a cascading interactive water feature.
“When completed it will offer an array of new activities for visitors from the heart of downtown to the banks of the Missouri River,” added Ward.
An $11 million lighting and sound system will support unique light shows and concerts in the downtown park. Additional features include a botanical garden, outdoor performance pavilion, park-side cafes, a sculpture garden and a skating ribbon for roller blading during warmer months and ice skating during winter.
Construction on The RiverFront started in March 2019 with the Gene Leahy Mall. The first phase is scheduled to be complete in 2022. The entire project should be finished by 2024.