Background

DockClick here to read an interesting history of the Discovery Center ~ Great Lakes campus. The property was accepted by Rotary Camps & Services in December 2006 with six buildings on site, including a cinder-block boat maintenance building with retail showroom, a house previously converted to offices, and four steel-sided “pole barns” for workshops and storage. The member organizations have done a remarkable job converting the existing buildings to functional work spaces. The adaptive reuse of the existing structures is as follows:

  • Cinder block building – converted by Great Lakes Children’s Museum into a hands-on children’s museum
  • House/office – converted by Watershed Center into an energy-efficient and “green” office space that also houses an art gallery
  • Two steel-sided buildings – adapted by Maritime Heritage Alliance into workshops, including a modern instructional workshop,
  • One steel-sided building  – adapted by Great Lakes Children’s Museum into storage and exhibit-building workshop
  • Largest steel-sided building  – used as boat storage for members and to generate revenue for the Discovery Center

The Discovery Center ~ Great Lakes has achieved some key milestones since its inception:

  • Incorporated as Grand Traverse Bay Alliance – 2006
  • Mike Dow donates property – December 2006
  • IRS 501(c)(3) tax exempt status – 2008
  • Great Lakes Children’s Museum opens – Sept 2006
  • Buildings painted in campus-wide color scheme – 2007
  • Watershed Center opens offices – May 2008
  • Maritime Heritage Alliance opens new instructional workshop – 2009
  • Low-impact landscape improvements – Summer 2009
  • Sign unveiled – June 2009
  • Courtyard displays begin – Summer 2010
  • Inaugural Discovery Day – June 26, 2011