SouthWest Science Center


Approximately 23 acres, to be leased for up to 10 years at $1,000 per year, and then donated by the development to the SouthWest Science Center.

Phase 1

The design and construction of the approximate 10,000 square foot Challenger Learning Center, which is an engineering training center for teachers and up to 36 students on simulated space flights or other scientific expeditions such as oceanography and geology.

Phase 2

The Hansen Planetarium and Performing Arts Center will be designed to provide science shows in astronomy, geology and virtually all of the sciences. The 80-foot dome, together with an audio-visual laser-projection system will produce "Star" shows as well as augment various live presentations. In addition, this multi-purpose theater will include a full stage and orchestra area for live entertainment. Theater Artistic Director Elizabeth Hansen, assisted by Tamara Smith, will produce and direct plays and stage shows while Entertainer Merrill Osmond will produce "Serenity Wellness" presentations and "Branson" style entertainment. A Broadway quality musical has been written for the theater by the talented playwright, Tamara Smith. Upon hearing that the SWSC will include a 360-degree domed projection system with a modern proscenium stage, she has made the decision to have the world premier of her musical at the Jepson Canyon Resort Hansen Performing Arts Theater in Apple Valley! Tamara Smith has said, “The presentation concept, with full dome digital laser projection over the audience and the stage, will give the audience the impression of being part of the scene. I have delayed launching in New York or Seattle, in favor of the opportunity to launch in this spectacular never before seen venue”.

Phase 3

The Science Quest Children's Discovery Center will be a science and engineering "learning and entertainment" facility for boys and girls, ages K-12. This informal center will contain hundreds of exhibits. This facility will be modeled after Discovery Centers around the world, that teach children that science and engineering is both fun and interesting.

Three Exhibit Halls will also be constructed: one showing the pioneer history of the area; one showcasing mineralogy and mineral specimens; and one featuring Native American arts and crafts.

Phase 4

The Astronomical Observatory Complex will be constructed on the cliff behind the buildings of the SWSC. Several buildings housing a variety of telescopes for visual, photographic and research exploration of the universe will be constructed. Students of all ages will have the opportunity to explore areas of interest from their homes and schools through the internet connections, as well as experiencing hands-on use of the observatory instruments. Cooperative ventures with Utah colleges and universities are included in the planning of the Astronomical Observatory Complex.

Phases and completion of the above SouthWest Science Center will be determined by the Board of Trustees based on achievement of funding for each purpose.