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Perot Museum of Nature & Science in Dallas Receives $25 Million Gift from The Rees-Jones Foundation
The $185-million museum, designed by Pritzker Prize Laureate Thom Mayne and his firm Morphosis, is scheduled to open early 2013.

DALLAS.- Calling it an investment that will deliver world-class educational experiences and entertainment to millions for decades to come, Museum of Nature & Science leaders announced a second major gift in two years from The Rees-Jones Foundation that brings its total contribution to $25 million – and pushes the Museum’s fundraising efforts past the $150-million mark. To commemorate this significant show of support for the $185-million Perot Museum of Nature & Science, Museum leaders will name two major halls in its honor – The Rees-Jones Foundation Dynamic Earth Hall and the Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones Exhibition Hall. The $185-million museum, designed by Pritzker Prize Laureate Thom Mayne and his firm Morphosis, is scheduled to open early 2013.

“This marks an enormous milestone for the Museum of Nature & Science. The Rees-Jones Foundation, which made an early gift of $10 million in 2009, stepped up AGAIN with today’s momentous $15-million gift for a total contribution of $25 million,” said Peggy Allison, chair of the Museum of Nature & Science board of directors. “Their significant investment in the Perot Museum will enrich the lives of so many. In particular, it will ignite the curiosity of children and inspire a passion for science that will pay off in big ways down the road.”

"We made this second gift to the Museum's capital campaign to underscore the importance of this project to our community," said Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones. "Having this world class museum in our city will inspire generations of youth to pursue education in science and nature which is so important not only to improving the lives of these young people but also to enabling our city, state and country to continue to make advances, which will improve the lives of all of our citizens. We hope this additional gift will encourage everyone to contribute to this important project."

The Rees-Jones Foundation Dynamic Earth Hall will be located on the third level of the 180,000-square-foot facility and will encompass 4,000 square feet. The hall will include three major galleries – air, water and land – focusing on the cycles and processes spanning Earth’s climate, geology, and hydrology that change dynamically to support life over time.

The Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones Exhibition Hall will allow the Perot Museum to bring in blockbuster traveling exhibitions from around the globe as well as special temporary exhibitions curated by Perot Museum staff or drawn from the Museum’s vast collections. The 7,500-square-foot hall will be located on the lower level directly next to the Sports Hall, whose components can be removed to provide an additional 4,000 square feet of space. It will have AAA-rated temperature controls and humidity monitors to protect delicate objects, sophisticated security controls, and leading-edge lighting systems and technology infrastructure to support these shows.

“Dallas currently misses out on playing host city to many traveling exhibitions dealing with topics related to science, the natural world, anthropology and history,” said Museum CEO Nicole G. Small. “But the Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones Exhibition Hall will give us the space and technology required to host the world’s biggest and most high-profile exhibitions and these major shows will be augmented with educational programming, adult programming and special events.”

Prime examples of recent exhibits missed include Leonardo da Vinci: Man, Inventor Genius; Gold; Real Pirates: The Untold Story of the Whydah from Slave Ship to Pirate Ship; FROGS: A Chorus of Colors; Mythic Creatures: Dragons, Unicorns, and Mermaids; and The Dead Sea Scrolls: Words That Changed The World, to name a few.

The announcement was held on the 24th floor at Saint Ann Court, a building that overlooks the site of the new museum, and attended by a crowd of community and civic leaders. Children from the Dallas Children’s Theater and the West Dallas Community School, both organizations that benefit from the generosity of The Rees-Jones Foundation, participated in the presentation. The children were dressed as marine biologists, forest rangers, paleontologists, chemists and various other disciplines of the earth sciences. Additionally, kids were outfitted as pirates, frogs and mummies to bring to life the types of blockbuster exhibitions that will be brought to the Perot Museum.

Expansion campaign chair Forrest Hoglund also celebrated today’s news. To date, the Museum has raised $153 million of its total $185-million campaign goal. Museum leaders announced last fall they intend to complete the fundraising campaign by the end of 2011.

“We’ve now raised 83 percent of our campaign goal and hit the $150-million mark almost two years before the doors open to the new Museum,” said Hoglund. “We’re very fortunate that The Rees-Jones Foundation, along with the business and philanthropic community, recognizes the crucial need for science and math education to keep our nation competitive in the global arena.”
The Perot Museum of Nature & Science is currently under construction on a 4.7-acre site located at 1155 Broom St. at the northwest corner of Woodall Rodgers and Field Street in Victory Park adjacent to downtown Dallas. The structure will be 170 feet tall, equivalent to approximately 14 stories high.

The facility’s interior will include five floors of public space featuring 10 permanent exhibition halls, including a children’s museum and outdoor playspace/courtyard; an expansive glass-enclosed lobby and adjacent outdoor terrace with a downtown view; state-of-the art exhibition hall designed to host world-class traveling exhibitions; an education wing equipped with six learning labs; a large-format, multi-media digital cinema with seating for 300; flexible-space auditorium; public café; retail store; visible exhibit workshops; and offices. Lastly, the building itself will be used as a “living” example of engineering, sustainability and technology at work.

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