On June 11, Cedar Rapids Science Station sustained serious flood damage and will be closed indefinitely. Water rose to a level of seven feet on the first floor, leaving a coating of mud on virtually everything up to the high-water mark. All but a few exhibits were destroyed, along with computers and other media equipment.
“One gallery with seven locally-sponsored exhibits was about to be installed, but we had not started any work, so nothing new was lost,” said executive director John Swanson. “The fact that we don’t have an extensive collection of irreplaceable artifacts makes this loss somewhat easier to accept; our stuff is repairable or replaceable. We do have a dinosaur jaw bone, but I figured if it could survive a million years in the mud, then a day or two more before cleaning wasn’t a big deal. You’ve got to focus on the bright side.” The science center’s summer camp program, serving 700 children, has resumed in a nearby church.
Clean-up/mitigation costs alone will be in excess of $200,000. “It’s difficult to say what we need at this point,” said Swanson. “As much as anything I’m just looking for ideas; perhaps a loan of temporary exhibits, maybe learning what others have done under similar circumstances or some off-site programming ideas.”
Photo courtesy Cedar Rapids Science Station