Fresno's Discovery Center at risk of closing

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Discovery Center in Fresno has been around for more than 60 years. But the learning spot popular with generations of kids is now in danger of closing.

The mere mention of the Discovery Center may bring back memories for some people.
But to stay open, the center now needs community support.

Staffers feel the Discovery Center has gone unnoticed for too long. Slithering snakes are among the favorites among kids. Lizards and chinchillas are entertaining as well.

But to stay afloat financially the center has now started a Go-Fund Me account and has set a goal of $100,000.

"We're hoping to make improvements so we can keep the place going. Recently we almost shut the doors. That's how bad it got," said Debbie Milla, Director.

The Discovery Center survived this year through school field trips. Its interactive room inherited games from the old Met museum.

"We have some people that come in every day that say they didn't know this place existed or that they thought this was closed," said Ian Goudelock, Instructor.

It took the Discovery Center a decade to re-open after a fire in 2000. Some of the exhibits sustained smoke damage. But director Debbie Milla feels the center still has much to offer. "We are planning on growing. This is a gem that just needs to be polished up a bit and it will soar."

Money raised would go towards a new driveway and parking lot. Enclosures for the tortoises and birds would also be built.

The discovery center hopes to finds support from those in the community who used to enjoy this place. "I think its huge for Fresno to have a place like the Discovery Center that children can come and have something that's really hands on," said Goudelock.

The Discovery Center staff was encouraged to see how the community stepped up to bring new life to Storyland.
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