The ongoing construction of Explora’s 8,000-square-foot X Studio Teen Center in Albuquerque, which has been underway since 2019, is now facilitated by a $ 250,000 grant from Bank of America. Studio Southwest Architects and general contractor FacilityBuild are the two Albuquerque companies currently working on this project, which is a few months to go.
The X Studio Teen Center is being developed as part of the Explora Museum’s master plan to set up a Career STEAM Learning Campus aimed at creating exciting, long-term careers for teenagers. According to Nyra Klawer, Explora’s Capital Campaign Manager, construction of the youth center is expected to be completed in spring or early summer 2022, and that timeframe will depend on the arrival date of the building materials.
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New X Studio Teen Center to double the number of paid internships offered
After its completion, the X Studio Teen Center will expand the current 50,000 square meter Explora campus by a further 8,000 square meters of study space; the will mentor thousands of teenagers each year and offer extensive educational programs in a variety of fields including physics, chemistry, programming, and engineering. Klawer pointed out that the Explora campus currently offers about 35 paid internships, but expanding the X studio would allow Explora to double the number of paid internships currently on offer in its early years.
In addition to developing the X Studio Teen Center, Explora is already working on the second phase of its “Cradle through Career” campaign. Klawer mentioned that fundraising for Phase II is officially underway, and Explora hopes to raise up to $ 10 million to build its Brilliant Early Learning Center over a three-year period. The Brilliant Early Learning Center will provide a day center, preschool, laboratory and space for young parents to continue their education and get accreditations.
Klawer announced further details on the future Early Learning Center project, which he believes will be developed on 4.5 acre site currently rented from Array Technologies, and that campus will be positioned behind the Explora Natural History Museum. Klawer also mentioned that the Early Learning Center would be much larger compared to the 8,000-square-foot X Studio Teen Center, with enough space for 10 to 15 classrooms.