Utah's US$8m discovery centre combines science and nature

by Tom Anstey | 24 Aug 2016

A new US$8m (€7.1m, £6.1m) science centre telling the story of the Colorado Plateau and encouraging exploration of the wider area – which is home to the Grand Canyon – has opened its doors to the public in Utah.

Located in the city of Monticello, the 16,200sq ft (1,500sq m) Canyon Country Discovery Center looks at the Four Corners region – the quadripoint in the Southwest US where the states of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah meet.

The centre is fully equipped with a conference hall, four breakout spaces, an exhibition hall with 30 hands-on learning stations and an observatory for night sky viewing. Encouraging physical activity as well as scientific education, the energy-efficient centre also includes a climbing wall and nature playscape.

The centre – which is designed to promote a wider understanding of the plateau’s geography – has nature at the heart of its development, with 48 acres of juniper, pinyon, and sagebrush outside, as well as 2 miles (3.2km) of trails for hikes, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. Also located outside of the centre are five picnic pavilions, five culturally-themed learning pavilions and 15 outdoor learning stations.

Opened on 20 August, the development – the culmination of 15 years of planning – is the new home for the Four Corners School of Outdoor Education, which was first founded more than 30 years ago. To incorporate this, the centre also features a classroom space and a research lab to encourage learning.

Designed by Salt Lake City-based EDA Architects, the centre expects 35,000 visitors a year and has an operating budget of US$2.4m (€2.1m, £1.8m), creating 30 permanent jobs.

Utah  Grand Canyon  Arizona  Colorado  New Mexico  Utah  science centre  discovery centre  visitor attraction 
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A new US$8m (€7.1m, £6.1m) science centre telling the story of the Colorado Plateau and encouraging exploration of the wider area – which is home to the Grand Canyon – has opened its doors to the public in Utah. Located in the city of Monticello, the 16,200sq ft (1,500sq m) Canyon Country Discovery Center looks at the Four Corners region – the quadripoint in the Southwest US where the states
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The centre has nature at its heart, with 48 acres of juniper, pinyon, and sagebrush outside,
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