Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land to open at Telfair on Oct. 3
How many communities can boast an onsite museum as part of their amenity package Telfair can, when the Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land opens on Saturday, Oct. 3.
The museum’s grand opening occurs on the same date as the first annual TelfairLife International Music Festival, a free family event from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., happening next to the museum. The public is invited to come to Telfair on Oct. 3 to enjoy both the museum grand opening and the festival.
Newland Communities donated the historic Central State Farm building and the surrounding 5.5 acres of land as the new home for HMNS at Sugar Land, which will kick off its year-round schedule with
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Exhibition, an entertainment and educational experience based on the blockbuster films and the beloved books by C.S. Lewis. In addition to special traveling exhibitions, four permanent galleries will illustrate required science topics for Texas schools.
The opening of HMNS at Sugar Land fulfills a vision that began when Newland Communities first acquired the 2,018-acre site for Telfair nearly 10 years ago. Located at U.S. 59 South and University Blvd., the site was formerly the Texas State Prison Farm, and the 43,000-square-foot Central State Farm building served as a dormitory from 1939, the year it was completed, until 1969.
“From the time we began to envision the master plan for Telfair, it was a priority to transform this historically and architecturally significant building into a cultural cornerstone for Telfair and the greater Fort Bend community,” said Travis Stone, senior vice president for Newland Communities.
In 2007, Newland Communities donated the Central State Farm building for HMNS at Sugar Land after investing approximately $1 million in exterior renovations. Together with the value of the building and the site, Newland’s total donation for HMNS at Sugar Land is $2.5 million.
“A unique partnership with the Museum, the City of Sugar Land, the Sugar Land 4B Corporation, and Newland Communities has made it possible to bring the best programs, exhibits, theaters, and traveling exhibitions from the main Museum campus to this historic building in a very progressive suburban community,” said Dr. Carolyn Sumners, vice president for the physical sciences at HMNS.
Upon entering HMNS at Sugar Land, visitors will be welcomed by an articulated skeleton of Tyrannosaurus rex, one of the world’s best-known dinosaurs. They can then head over to the Dig Pit to experience the thrill of excavating dinosaur bones first-hand. Also near the entrance, the Science on A Sphere exhibit features a giant animated globe, with complex environmental processes unfolding above in vivid detail.
Another permanent gallery, The Hall of Life Science, offers a collection of living frogs, such as the Giant African Bullfrog, Amazon Milk Frog, and Giant Monkey Frog. Visitors can compare an amazing variety of skulls of different animal species from around the globe – from a killer whale to a grizzly bear. The Zuhl Collection of Petrified Wood features stunningly preserved slices of ancient trees that tell the dramatic tale of their history and environment.
The Hall of Earth Science showcases an unparalleled array of amazing geological wonders, including massive amethyst and citrine geodes taller than a person, and a cave of fluorescent minerals in every size and color.
Finally, a small introductory version of the Hall of Space Science allows visitors to discover wonders of the night sky as seen through the Hubble Space Telescope, and touch a piece of Mars and the oldest rock on Earth. The Discovery Dome offers three shows, including Dawn of the Space Age, Ice Worlds, and Impact Earth.
The Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land will also offer a variety of daytime classes and weekend scout programs.
The HMNS at Sugar Land is part of Telfair Central, a 25-acre cultural and recreational complex located near the geographic center of Telfair. Telfair Central also includes a water park, which opened this summer, and a future community center building is also planned for the site. Overall, the Telfair master plan devotes 300 acres to recreational amenities.
Offering new homes priced from the $250,000s to over $1 million, Telfair ranks as one of the top 10 communities in the United States for new-home sales, according to a report released in 2009 by RCLCO, a national real estate advisory firm.
Located in the Fort Bend Independent School District, Telfair has an onsite elementary school, Cornerstone Elementary, which has received an Exemplary rating from the Texas Education Agency.
For more information, visit www.telfair.com.
About Newland Communities
Newland Communities is the largest private developer of planned communities in the United States. With a legacy that began in 1968, Newland specializes in comprehensive residential and urban mixed-use master planning with expertise in leading large-scale single- and multi-family new-home communities. Headquartered in San Diego, Calif., Newland and its affiliated companies are currently developing and managing nearly 40 projects in 14 states. www.newlandcommunities.com