Science center hosts topping out ceremony for theater project

Press Staff Writer

        Six months after breaking ground on its new KeyBank Discovery Theater, Imagination Station celebrated a major construction milestone.
        Toledo’s science center held a topping out ceremony Dec. 18 to commemorate the placement of one of the highest beams in the structural framework for the new addition.
        Topping out is a symbolic event which celebrates a major structural landmark in new construction. The tradition typically occurs when the last, or highest steel beam is placed.
        “Beam by beam, brick by brick, we are watching the theater take shape and with it the plans for this state-of-the-art facility,” said Lori Hauser, chief executive officer at Imagination Station. “We are looking forward to the many exciting opportunities this new multi-purpose venue will provide for our community to learn, dream, discover and play together.”
        State Sen. Theresa Gavarone (R., Bowling Green) awarded a special commendation to the science center.
        “It’s educational, it’s fun and I can envision children of all ages coming and getting immersed in an entire experience and learning new things,” Sen. Gavarone said. “It’s going to be incredible for this area and I’m excited to come and enjoy it myself.”
        Lincoln (last name withheld upon mom's request), a Jerusalem Elementary School fourth-grader, was invited to participate in the ceremony. For the last two years, he has asked friends and family for donations to Imagination Station in lieu of providing gifts for his birthday. Lincoln’s classmates watched as he signaled to crews to lift the beam into place.
        The science center broke ground on the $10-million expansion in June. The major structural components of the building are nearing completion. Exterior and interior work on the 8,200-square-foot addition to the science center will continue for the next several months. The theater is projected to open to the public next summer.
        When complete, The KeyBank Discovery Theater will be the only venue of its kind in this region. It will feature a 58-foot wide screen with 4K laser projection. This technology will allow the science center to project nearly any kind of video and audio, including traditional and 3D films, presentations and live streaming. The addition will also feature new retail space, a concessions area and new lobby.
        The theater was designed by local architecture firm, The Collaborative and Toledo-based Lathrop is leading construction. The theater is a significant investment in the science center with primary funding support from private sources, most notably KeyBank, the marquee donor. One-million dollars in state funding was secured for the project. No operating levy funds are being used for the theater.
        For more information about the project, visit


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