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Discovery Station asks for funding

November 02, 2005|by TARA REILLY

HAGERSTOWN

tarar@herald-mail.com

A nonprofit interactive science, technology and history center in downtown Hagerstown is asking for financial support from the Washington County Commissioners.

B. Marie Byers, board president of Discovery Station at Hagerstown Inc., mentioned the request Tuesday during a presentation on the center to the County Commissioners.

A specific dollar amount hasn't been determined, but the center needs money to pay for a director and office equipment, Byers said.

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Byers said she has been acting as interim director.

Before deciding on whether to make a contribution, Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook said the commissioners plan to tour Discovery Station and determine whether the organization is on the county's list of nonprofit groups that are eligible to receive county funding.

Being on the list doesn't necessarily mean a group will receive money, Snook said.

Byers said she thought the center had been on the list. If it isn't, she said the organization would take the required steps be placed on the list.

Contributions to Discovery Station have included $30,000 from the state and $25,000 from the Washington County Gaming Commission, Byers said.

She said Sen. Donald Munson is trying to secure another $50,000 from the state for Discovery Station.

Since it opened in May, the center has had about 1,700 visitors, she said.

Byers said Discovery Station officials were excited about the center's future.

"So, we're working hard to make this a realization for our community for a long time to come," Byers said.

Discovery Station, at 101 West Washington St., includes exhibits and galleries, such as the Betty Clopper Early Childhood Gallery; the Dinosaur Gallery with a Triceratops skull; and the Vault Gallery, "containing traveling exhibits from the Maryland Science Center, the Vault Exhibit with fossils, rocks, crystals and semi-precious stones," according to the center's brochure.

A Transportation Gallery also is featured, which includes the Hagerstown Aviation Museum, the Roundhouse Railroad exhibit, a Volvo/Mack exhibit and a C&O Canal display, the brochure states.

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