Locals, tourists take in new Discovery Center
John and Cindy Carini have been making Corydon and Harrison County their get-away destination from their Bloomington home for the last 28 years. And, since about 2006, they have traveled here for the Halloween events.
However, on Saturday afternoon, as they made their way from the William Henry Harrison museum back to the Kintner House Inn, where they usually stay the night, they inquired about activity at 233 N. Capitol Ave. They were unaware that the Harrison County Discovery Center was opening for the first time.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony had taken place a couple of hours earlier, with many locals in attendance. A free showing of the interactive museum followed.
The Carinis decided to check it out.
Cindy, who finished going through the Center first, said the ‘talking photos’ in the Archivist’s Office area, one of five exhibits in the Center, were ‘awesome.’ So much so that she stayed in the area to listen to them twice.
When John completed viewing the exhibits, which also include Exploring Natural History, Exploring Our Caves, Early County History and The Civil War, he said he enjoyed the film, which is shown in the round, and learned more about the early history of the county.
Bob and Arlene Stults of Elizabeth were among the first to get an inside glimpse of the Center, which still had some finishing touches to be made.
‘Very impressive; a lot of good history,’ said Bob, who had never been inside the building that once was the county jail before it was remodeled and used as an Archives Building and office space. ‘It will be good for the community. We have so much here already.
Arlene said, ‘We’ll come back later when we can spend more time. It gave us a good idea of what it’s like.’
She also commented that the exhibits are geared toward young children, not just adults.
If the reaction of brothers Noah and Jaxon Feder of Corydon were any indication, Arlene is right.
‘It’s fun,’ said Jaxon, 7, who, with his 10-year-old brother, explored the different exhibits, some more than once.
Noah said he likes history, so he found the Center offers much to do while teaching guests about history.
Rand Heazlitt, superintendent of the Harrison County Parks Dept., who oversaw the project, said the museum is designed to offer just enough information to encourage visitors to go out and explore what the county is about and has to offer.
Tour guides are available at the Center, but visitors also can explore the five areas on their own, at their own pace.
The project, a joint venture between the parks department, Harrison County Community Foundation, Harrison County Government and the Town of Corydon, was completed for about $2.2 million by Solid Light, owned by Corydon resident Cynthia Torp. Shireman Construction oversaw the work.
On the second floor, are two rooms that can be rented, in two-hour increments, beginning at 9 a.m., or the entire day, for events. One room can accommodate 40 guests, while the other has a 80-guest capacity.
Also, special exhibits will be displayed on the upper level.
The Center also was open Sunday but then closed for the week to finish up last-minute details. It will re-open Friday at 3 p.m. then be open seven days a week (except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day). Its hours will be from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 4:30 p.m. on Sundays. Officials recommend arriving no later than 30 minutes prior to closing in order to allow time to experience the Center.
Admission is $7 for ages 13 and older and $4 for children ages 3 to 12.
For more information, call the Center at 812-734-0300, visit its website at DiscoveryCenterExperience.com or check out its Facebook page.