DALLAS – On December 1, the public will finally be allowed to venture into the 180,000-square foot Perot Museum of Nature and Science –– a full month ahead of schedule.
Speaking from the lobby during a morning press conference Thursday, CEO Nicole Small proudly announced the privately funded museum has reached the home stretch. On October 2, patrons can head to its website to buy tickets for opening day and beyond, “just in time for the holidays,” Small noted.
Single day admission will be $15. Anyone who becomes a member by the end of the year will be considered a charter member –– those will retail $45 for students, $65 for nonstudent adults and $80 for a dual membership.
“At the core of this journey is our mission to inspire minds to major in science and to make science an exciting and relevant part of our everyday lives, to pursue kids and adults to pursue careers in the sciences to improve our nation’s global competitive position,” Small said.
The museum, located on the northwest corner of N. Field Street and Woodall Rodgers Freeway near Victory Park, will feature 11 exhibition halls on five floors and a 297-seat theater with a state-of-the-art digital projection system. One of those halls will be a children’s museum while another details the construction of the museum itself, tracing its progress from conception to construction.
The general public will be able to visit the museum lobby –– home to a full-sized Malawisaurus dinosaur skeleton –– and have lunch in the café without paying for admission.
“We want this museum to be open for everybody, so we’ve got a lot of spaces that the general public can come and experience,” Small said. “You can come and see this dinosaur without buying a ticket.”
Named after the Perot family, who donated $50 million to the museum in 2008, the museum was funded completely privately –– all $185 million of it. Small said the museum hit that amount in 2011, one year ahead of schedule.
“From the beginning, it’s been our objective to not only finish our times but to beat our deadlines on multiple fronts,” she said.
The facility is also seeking three green-building accreditations: LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council; Green Globes assessment, which is operated by the Green Building Initiative in Canada and the U.S; and the Sustainable Sites Imitative, which is a green-landscaping benchmark created by the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at UT Austin and the United States Botanic Garden.
“We’re very proud because very few buildings in the U.S. have achieved two certifications, much less three,” Small said.
As such, the museum’s architecture and landscaping contractors worked diligently to meet these standards, Small said.
Head here for a visual on all the environmental extras at the Perot. On Thursday, landscaping architect Coy Talley showed off the two 25,0000-gallon cisterns that retain runoff from rainwater, which is used for flushing toilets and as complete side irrigation.
“We utilize it as much as we can in as many areas as we can in relation to code requirements for non-potable uses,” Talley said.
The museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays each day except for Thanksgiving and Christmas.