The City of Aurora had purchased an old post office and wanted to see it used in such a way it would help revitalize the downtown area. Marie Wilkinson wrote in an editorial, “As a charter member of this dream of SciTech, we now have this center in our lovely city of Aurora. It seems like a miracle is happening for our downtown area…The old post office was meant for it.”
At the Aurora City Council meeting on January 16, 1990, the lease was approved 7-1. between January and June, more than $150,000 in improvements and repairs were made to the building. Much of the labor and materials came donated by Cordogen, Clark & Associates, RC Wegman Construction, Platt Electric, SG Somer, Inc., Fire Control, A & H Painting, Heitkotter, Inc., Bohr Roofing, Supreme Millwork, Michaels Lumber Co., Garbe Iron Works, Valley Contractor, and Omega Wrecking.
SciTech Hands On Science Center officially opened on June 16, 1990 with 60 exhibits. Unlike the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, there was no neon, Lucite, high tech stuff. “We’re not glitzy,” explained Victoria Fox, marketing coordinator. “First is science.”
Many capitol projects and changes have happened in the years since the doors opened. The original “Doppler Baseball” exhibit and the iconic “Hot Air Balloon” exhibit debuted in 1992. SciTech Summer Camp began in 1993. Wild weather was unveiled and new SciTech favorite was introduced in 1996: the Harmonograph was sponsored by the Stoner Family.
With the new exhibits came need for more space. In 1997, the basement level of the building began to receive touch-ups. Many of the labs and activities were moved into the rennovated Grainger, Caterpillar, and Malamud classrooms. SciTech continued to add to the programs and expanding the outreach to schools.