Work begins on Rowan University’s $73m fossil park museum in US

WCN Editorial Team 12 Oct 2021 NORTH AMERICA BUILDINGS

Rowan University in the US has broken ground on the $73m fossil park museum, named Jean & Ric Edelman Fossil Park Museum in Mantua Township, New Jersey.

The 44,000 ft2 museum is planned to be built above a four-acre former marl quarry where 66-million-year-old marine and terrestrial fossils were discovered.

Scheduled to open in May 2023, the museum will allow visitors to spectate a time when dinosaurs travelled the coast while mosasaurs, giant sea turtles and crocodiles inhabited the sea.

Jean & Ric Edelman Fossil Park director and School of Earth & Environment founding dean Dr Kenneth Lacovara said: "We are building a museum like no other, on a fossil site of global importance that will connect visitors to the ancient past, to the thrill of discovery and to Rowan University.”

The museum will feature land and sea galleries of the Late Cretaceous worlds while the lobby will comprise skeletal reconstructions of creatures that existed in the area 66 million years ago.

The building will comprise the Hall of Cretaceous Seas, which will feature marine recreations collections as well as Hall of Extinction & Hope to allow visitors to experience the dinosaurs’ demise.

Additionally, the museum’s ‘Discovery Forest’ will include hands-on learning stations whereas "Critter Cove" will comprise sea and land animals with genetic connections to the site during the Late Cretaceous era.

A Fossil Research Workshop, museum store, a virtual reality chamber, café, paleo-themed playground and nature trails are also planned at the new net-zero building.

The project design teams include SEED Design/Yaki Miodovnik (Landscape Architect), Ennead Architects (Design Architect), Gallagher & Associates (Experience Design), and KSS Architects (Architect of Record).

The destination is anticipated to draw 200,000 visitors annually.

Lakeside view of the proposed Jean & Ric Edelman Fossil Park Museum. Credit: Rowan University.

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