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Battelle gives second million-dollar gift to Hanford Reach Interpretive Center

January 08, 2008 Share This!

  • Kimberly Camp, Hanford Reach Interpretive Center, (509) 943-4100
  • The Hanford Reach is the last free-flowing segment of the Columbia River. Battelle has pledged a $1 million gift to the Hanford Reach Interpretive Center to fund construction and educational exhibits at the yet-to-be-built museum near Columbia Point.

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RICHLAND, Wash. – Battelle has pledged a second $1 million gift to the Hanford Reach Interpretive Center to fund construction and educational exhibits at the yet-to-be-built museum near Columbia Point.

The Battelle gift, which was announced at a Richland ceremony this morning, brings the Ohio-based company’s total gift to the visitor and heritage center to $2.3 million. In December 2002, Battelle gave $1 million to the Columbia River Exhibition of History, Science and Technology museum (CREHST). Once construction is complete, that gift will be transferred to the Hanford Reach Interpretive Center to endow its education programs. Battelle gave another $300,000 to the Reach project in August 2007.

Tuesday’s announced pledge will be paid in three installments over the next three years, with the final installment distributed only after an additional $4 million is raised from the community.

Battelle has operated the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland for the federal government since the laboratory’s inception in 1965.

"Battelle has long been committed to improving education and the quality of life in the communities where we operate," said Battelle’s Senior Vice President of Corporate Relations, Anthony Hebron. “The Reach will do both. It will engage students, teachers and the public through exciting, innovative education programs, and it will be a source of pride to Tri-Cities residents. Battelle is delighted to be a major partner in creating this Tri-Cities landmark. “

The Reach is a $40.5 million, 61,000-square-foot facility designed to serve as a gateway to the Hanford Reach National Monument. It’s designed by Johnpaul Jones, whose Seattle architecture firm Jones & Jones has designed the Seattle Children's Museum and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the Native American in Washington, D.C.

The interpretive center will contain exhibits, gardens, a theatre, and educational programs for adults and children. Construction will begin when the Reach has raised 80 percent of the money needed for construction. To date, the Reach has raised nearly $25 million toward its goal, including $20 million in public dollars from federal, state, and local sources. In addition, the city of Richland has provided land to the Reach valued at more than $5 million.

“The Battelle gift in itself is greatly appreciated, and will help us leverage other gifts from corporations, citizens and foundations,” said Reach Board Chairman Ron Lerch. “With this challenge gift from Battelle, we are clearly on a path towards reaching our fundraising goals and serving the region and the state, with enhanced cultural, educational and scientific opportunities, especially for the residents of eastern Washington.”

“The history of the Columbia River basin and its people is centuries old and vitally important,” added CEO Kimberly Camp. “The Reach will show the unique land-to-people relationship – how it evolved from a region shaped by the Ice Age Floods, to a shrub-steppe environment inhabited by Native Americans, to its role in shaping the 20th Century. Our challenge is to encourage others to help us to bring the Reach to fruition and step up to the plate with their pledge of support.”

Tags: Environment

Battelle is the world's largest independent research and development organization. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Battelle oversees 22,000 employees in more than 130 locations worldwide. Battelle has managed the U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash., since the laboratory's inception in 1965.

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