Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43) spoke on June 3 at the groundbreaking celebration for Phase 3 of the California Science Center’s Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center in Exposition Park.
In 1988, as a California State Assemblymember, Waters worked with Jeffrey Rudolph, president and CEO of the Science Center, to secure funding for a Master Plan for the Science Center and all of Exposition Park. An initial $250,000 enabled the Science Center to convince the California Legislature to adopt a 25-year Master Plan for Exposition Park which included a $41-million-dollar initial investment in 1993.
That Master Plan received an Urban Design of Excellence Award from the American Institute of Architects and this ceremony was the latest milestone in the initial vision for the Air and Space Center.
The Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center at the California Science Center will become the permanent home of the retired NASA space shuttle Endeavor which will be displayed vertically as if ready for launch. There will also be 150 additional educational exhibits in a 200,000 square foot space designed to “inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers and explorers.”
Waters recalled how she “encouraged the Museum of Science and Industry to revitalize the Museum and Exposition Park” which had fallen into disrepair and “was almost a disgrace. It was in horrible condition.”
Joined by NASA astronauts and other dignitaries at the ceremony, she added, “This is the final stage of a plan started 34 years ago to make our Science Center one of the most amazing museums in the country, introducing school children to science in an extremely exciting way. I applaud Jeff Rudolph and his team for bringing this dream to reality.”