JERSEY CITY-The two-year wait is over. After going dark in 2005 to make way for a major expansion and renovation that cost $109 million, the state-owned Liberty Science Center has reopened for business. The project involved the addition of 100,000 sf to the existing 200,000-sf facility and a major renovation of the original building, which dates to 1993.

“The expansion and improvement of the existing facility results in a greater experience for many additional guests,” says John Dolan, project executive for Skanska USA Building Inc. of Parsippany, construction manager for the project under a contract with the New Jersey EDA. “The multiple improvements provide enhanced services and improve the facility’s operations.”

The center’s executive and administrative operations have been centralized in the new addition, as have its retail, science hall and skyscraper exhibition. The retrofit of the existing building included the replacement of nearly every exhibition with new offerings in the areas of human health, invention and the environment.

As reported by, work started on the expansion in June 2005, and the existing facility was shuttered by September of that year. The project carried an original price tag of $104 million, and the expansion was originally pegged at 81,000 sf. Liberty Science Center is situated within the 1,200-acre Liberty State Park.

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