OH WOW! expanding at its downtown location

Staff report


After two years of operation, more than 79,000 explorers, 5,000 members, 474 educational field trips and 235 birthday celebrations have visited OH WOW!’s state-of-the-art facility in downtown Youngstown.

As a result, OH WOW! The Roger & Gloria Jones Children’s Center for Science and Technology is announcing a 3,000-square-foot expansion that will include a new exhibit area dedicated to making things, as well as a second classroom.

Thanks to a grant award of $25,000 from the Youngstown Foundation, construction began Wednesday. The expansion is taking place in a previously unused portion of the suite rented by OH WOW!, said Suzanne Barbati, president and executive director of OH WOW!.

There is some additional space for expansion “if we move some things around,” she said.

“We are extremely excited to bring this project to our community, and very much appreciate the support of The Youngstown Foundation, which continues to be a leader in coordinating resources to promote positive change and meeting the needs of our residents now and for generations to come,” Barbati said in a statement.

The expansion is being developed in collaboration with OH WOW!’s educational and manufacturing partners. Barbati stated the primary goal of the exhibit is to provide a safe environment for children and their families to work through this real-world process.

“We want to encourage our visitors to understand the process of generating an idea, and the successes and failures that come with making that idea a reality,” she said.

Work on the expansion is expected to be completed by the end of the year, Barbati said.

The need for the expansion project was identified in OH WOW!’s second strategic plan. The center also is working on website remodeling, bringing in health and wellness traveling exhibitions, and a new Energy WOW! Zone on the main exhibit floor.

For information, contact Barbati at 330-744-5914.

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