Discovery Center, Leadership Changes In 2018 For Washington Pavilion


The Washington Pavilion is undergoing some big changes in 2018. The Kirby Science Discovery Center offers more than 100 hands-on exhibits inside the Pavilion. 

This year, two out of the three floors are getting a major face lift. 

“A Washington Pavilion Renaissance. I mean we are really changing so many things in 2018,” CEO Darrin Smith said. 

Floor two of the Kirby Science Discovery Center is the only floor that will stay the same. Floors three and four are getting a whole new look. 

“You also have to keep it constantly fresh. Especially for those younger audiences. If they see the same thing two and three times and some of those things have the same outcome each time, they get bored really quickly,” Smith said. 

Avera will sponsor the third floor which will take on a new South Dakota theme. 

The fourth floor will have a health and wellness theme and will be sponsored by Sanford. 

“It contributes significantly to the quality of life here. It helps people stay in our community, and it also helps us recruit people to the community,” said Smith. 

In addition to the physical changes, the Pavilion is adding Kerri DeGraff as its new Chief Development Officer. 

“So I have a two, four and six year old, and having those children, I understand the importance of having a facility like this in our community,” said DeGraff. 

The mom of three is making the move from Feeding South Dakota. 

“The hands on experimenting, discovering, understanding how and why the world is the way it is and how it works. Those are critical things for children to understand and talk about my past experiences, it’s critical for kids to understand no matter their background,” DeGraff said. 

The Pavilion hopes these changes will appeal to all ages. 

“But again, most importantly making sure we maintain the highest possible quality of life which I know we’re all so proud of here in Sioux Falls,” said Smith. 

The Health and Wellness floor is expected to open on May 1st while the South Dakota themed floor will open later in 2018.

Smith says the Visual Arts Center will also undergo significant changes in 2018, focusing more on local art and photography.

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