Phipps Renovation Completed

New and Improved Phipps Special Exhibits Gallery Prepares for Debut at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science

Large-Scale Renovation Project Paid for With Voter-Approved Better Denver Bond Funding

The Denver Museum of Nature & Science has completed a total renovation of Phipps Special Exhibits Gallery, the Museum's first large-scale project funded by the voter-approved Better Denver Bond Program. Visitors will have their first look inside the newly renovated gallery when the Museum's next traveling exhibition, Genghis Khan, opens to the public on October 16.

In order to bring Phipps Gallery up to contemporary museum standards, the space was completely gutted and re-built between mid-May and mid-September. Crews installed a new vapor barrier and new air handling units to control temperature and humidity levels inside the gallery. These improvements make Phipps Gallery more comfortable for visitors and create a stable environment for rare and fragile artifacts featured in the finest traveling exhibitions.

The entrance to Phipps Gallery has been reconfigured to include a vestibule, and the gallery's exterior walls are covered in new wood paneling, giving the gallery a sophisticated look. Just outside the gallery is 7,500 square feet of new floor space, providing visitors a bright, spacious area in which to gather.  A new, faster elevator has been installed adjacent to Phipps Gallery, and two new stairways were built on the south end of the building, providing improved visitor access to the gallery and better emergency exits.

The Museum is seeking LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for the Phipps Gallery project. Construction crews used low-emitting materials in construction, and the gallery is designed to consume less power overall. In addition, 17,254 pounds of materials from the old gallery were reused in the new gallery, saving tons of trash from the landfill. The terrazzo floor covering outside the gallery includes 4,000 pounds of recycled crushed beer bottles.

The Denver-based firm klipp served as lead architect on the Phipps Gallery renovation project. Haselden Construction, LLC, served as the lead contractor. Other contractors on the project include CB Richard Ellis, BCER Engineering, Inc., Scanlon Szynskie Group, Inc., and Ambient Energy. The total project cost was approximately $11 million dollars.

Better Denver and the Denver Museum of Nature & Science

Denver voters approved approximately $50 million in Better Denver bond funding for the Museum in 2007. Approximately $19.2 million of the money is being spent to make needed infrastructure repairs and improvements to the Museum building. The Phipps Gallery renovation is the largest infrastructure improvement project at the Museum, and the largest project to be completed thus far in the Better Denver program.

The remaining $30 million in Better Denver funding will be used toward the construction of an Education and Collections Facility on the south end of the Museum building. The new facility will include a Science Engagement Center to accommodate education programs for both visitors and school children, and the Rocky Mountain Science Collections Center, an underground storage area to house the 1.4 million objects in the Museum's collections. The Museum is currently raising matching funds for this project, and will have an architectural engineering firm selected for the project by January 2010.


City of Denver-Better Denver Bond Program
The City of Denver's $550 million voter-approved Better Denver Bond Program is working to preserve, renovate and create amenities that touch citizen's lives - including roads, libraries, parks, recreation centers, child care sites, hospitals, public safety, City buildings and cultural facilities. Over 280 projects are part of this effort; more than 55 are complete, another 60-plus are in construction, and many more are in planning or design.  The improvements are scheduled for completion by 2012.  Projects are being accelerated as possible, with many of them slated for completion by 2011.   The Bond Program will pump millions of dollars into the economy and help to preserve and create jobs across the region.  For more information see

About the Denver Museum of Nature & Science
The Denver Museum of Nature & Science is the Rocky Mountain Region's leading resource for informal science education. A variety of engaging exhibits, discussions and activities help Museum visitors celebrate and understand the natural wonders of Colorado, Earth and the universe. The Museum is located at 2001 Colorado Blvd., Denver, CO, 80205.  To learn more about the Museum, check, or call 303-370-6000.

Many of the Museum's educational programs and exhibits are made possible in part by generous funding from the citizens of the seven-county metro area through the Scientific & Cultural Facilities District.

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