CSU, Chico News

Northern California Natural History Museum Becomes the Gateway Science Museum

Date: 03-26-2009

Kathleen McPartland
Public Affairs
Greg Liggett
Northern California Natural History Museum

The Northern California Natural History Museum at California State University, Chico is changing its name to the Gateway Science Museum.

“We are very excited to announce the results of an extensive study regarding the name of the museum,” explained Judy Sitton, museum board president. “We have discussed a name change for a long time and conducted a comprehensive, independent study. We determined that a shorter, catchier name would be easier to remember, especially for our younger audience members.

“Our market survey found the majority of respondents preferred the concept of gateway over several other choices, as well as the existing name. We have often used this term to describe the museum as a gateway to science, education and the North State. So, it became a comfortable choice for the museum.”

Greg Liggett, executive director of the museum, agreed. “The new museum name dramatically captures the spirit and vision of the museum. The Gateway Science Museum is a metaphorical and actual gateway, welcoming visitors to campus while teaching them about the wonders of the North State and its magnificent natural resources.”

The museum’s building is presently being constructed next to the Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park in Chico. The building is approximately 75 percent completed and is on schedule to be finished in the summer. Otto Construction from Sacramento is the project’s general contractor.

Plans are currently under way to open the museum facility to the public soon after that.

“Our long-term plan is to have permanent exhibits that highlight the natural environments of the entire North State region, focusing on the past geologic development and amazing prehistoric creatures that lived here, the modern environments, and the many environmental issues that we face for the future,” Liggett said.

“We are currently hiring an exhibit design group to work with us on the exhibit master plan, and we will be making an announcement about that soon,” he added.

The Gateway Science Museum will begin introducing its new look in all of its communications, including a new logo, very soon. The museum’s new Web address is www.gatewayscience.org.