Supporters mark start of construction on Infinity Science Center - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Supporters mark start of construction on Infinity Science Center

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

By Trang Pham-Bui – bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) – "It's not the dream of us today.  It's the dream of generations to come."

Those words came from Gulfport Mayor George Schloegel during a signing ceremony for the new Infinity Science Center Tuesday morning.  As Infinity's Chairman of the Board, Schloegel shared his excitement over the new state-of-the-art facility that will be going up in Hancock County.  He called it a place that will inspire the next generation of scientists, mathematicians and engineers.

"They can actually fly one of the satellites and go to moon or go to Mars, or they can go in one of those submarines and go to the bottom of ocean," Schloegel told a crowd of state dignitaries and supporters.

They gathered Tuesday to launch the project, a 72,000 square foot center that features a 3-D theatre, Earth and Space Galleries, and at least six interactive missions.

"We want to inspire youngsters to go study and prepare themselves to help us in the future.  We also want to tell people, some 12 million cars a year that go up and down that interstate, 'Wow, does this really go on in Mississippi?'" said Roy Estess, former Director of Stennis Space Center.

The speakers paid tribute to the late Leo Seal for his vision, leadership and support.

"I got emotional because I love him and I knew how much he wanted to do this project.  To be a part of making that happen is pretty special for me," said Schloegel.

In honor of his friend and mentor, Schloegel raised his pen toward the heavens and signed the construction contract with the Roy Anderson Corporation.

Hancock Bank capped off the signing ceremony with a special presentation, a $50,000 check.   Hancock Bank also pledged to donate $50,000 for the project, every year, for the next ten years. The financial and emotional commitment that started a decade ago will go toward a center that will help children explore their world and beyond.

Infinity will be built near Stennis Space Center, next to the I-10 Welcome Center. Construction starts May 1, 2010 and the center is expected to open in August of 2011.

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