Science Central celebrated the start of the museum’s Demonstration Theater remodel project with a groundbreaking ceremony Nov. 18.

Science Central held the ceremony in partnership with the project’s supporters, the American Electric Power Foundation, on behalf of Indiana Michigan Power, and AWS Foundation.

Thanks to those supporters, the Demonstration Theater will be made more accessible for everyone through this project, which will include enhancements to the theater’s physical structure and supporting technology.

Science Central, 1950 N. Clinton St., Fort Wayne, is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, and noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Buy tickets and find a list of special events at sciencecentral.org.

The project is being overseen by Mosaic Building Solutions, which is working off designs by Bona Vita Architecture.

Martin S. Fisher, executive director of Science Central, expressed his gratitude to the AEP Foundation and AWS Foundation for making the project a reality.

“We could not do this without them,” said Fisher. “Their support is transforming the Demonstration Theater into a space where all people of all ages can get excited about science.”

Katie Davis, Indiana Michigan Power’s vice president for External Affairs and Customer Experience, noted that the Demonstration Theater has been a popular attraction in Science Central and looked forward to seeing the space able to accommodate visitors of all abilities.

“The AEP Foundation and Indiana Michigan Power have long been supporters of Science Central, and many of our employees and their families have enjoyed and learned from the various presentations in the Demonstration Theater over the years,” Davis said. “With this $51,000 grant, Indiana Michigan Power and the AEP Foundation are pleased to support Science Central’s project to make the Demonstration Theater accessible to more children and families.”

Patti Hays, AWS Foundation’s chief executive officer, stated that the enhancements planned for the theater will dramatically improve its accessibility.

“Science Central’s Demonstration Theater is the centerpiece of learning for live demonstrations, yet the space had limited accessibility, especially for individuals using a wheelchair or those needing enhanced audio,” Hays said.

“We are eager for everyone to have the opportunity to experience this new learning environment,” she said.

Improvements include:

• Moveable, bleacher-style seats added to theater’s front row.

• Steps built on one side of theater.

• Safety handrails installed on each side of theater.

• Portable seat backs will become available for visitors’ use.

• Redesigned microphone and speaker system.

• Acoustic tiles added to ceiling.

• Bluetooth attachments for hearing aids will become available for visitors’ use.

• Talk-to-text system installed capable of providing live captions.

The project is anticipated to be completed by the end of this year.

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