Lehigh Valley

Da Vinci Science Center changes aquarium plan to a 'better fit'

The Da Vinci Science Center said they intend to scrap plans to build an aquarium in Easton and instead are focusing on building a Biodome as part of the new "Science City."

The new master plans were unveiled Tuesday night.

Da Vinci Executive Director Lin Erickson said after careful consideration about potential competition, like Ripley’s wanting to build an aquarium, Da Vinci decided a Biodome is a better fit for the Lehigh Valley.

"I think looking at the competitive landscape and other venues...other science centers...shaped what direction we're taking. We want to have a distinctive experience unlike any other,” Erickson said.

The new aspect of the Science City will include a multi-story nature dome with live exhibits and will be unlike anything else on the East Coast.

“A nature dome is an indoor environment…totally immersive....a forest at night. We will reverse the clock for animals so when you come in in the morning it will be nighttime for them,” Erickson said.

The "Science City" will also include an indoor skydiving venue and a 100-foot human body that visitors will be able to walk inside.

There is also space for a theater, event center, and public plaza outside of the building’s entrance.

Erickson said Da Vinci has currently raised $60 million of the necessary $130 million to complete the project.

She said they hope to have $85 million raised by June.

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