An innovative science center that will be located on the scenic banks of the Sacramento River takes a major step forward on Sept. 26 when PG&E crews begin dismantling conductor wires and power poles on the planned site for the Powerhouse Science Center.

Situated in the River District off Jibboom Street, the historic PG&E Power Station B was the first-choice location for the Powerhouse Science Center because the historic building’s position on the riverfront is highly visible, creating greater awareness for the imaginative science facility.

A premiere Northern California science and space learning facility, the Center project is a unique public, non-profit educational institution that involves a partnership between the Powerhouse Science Center, PG&E, The City of Sacramento, and 28 other Founding Partners who have declared a commitment to the project.

In restoring and reusing this property that is now owned by The City of Sacramento, the Center will serve as a model for 21st-century experiential education in science, math, technology, engineering, and space, and be utilized as a field trip destination for pre-kindergarten to 12th grade students from throughout the region.

“The Powerhouse Science Center is a tremendous collaborative effort between many dedicated groups and individuals who are all playing a significant role in making this vision of a premier science education center become a reality,” said Michelle Wong, Interim Executive Director for the Powerhouse Science Center. “Thanks in part to the graciousness of PG&E and The City of Sacramento, we’re going to transform a historic Sacramento landmark into a cutting edge educational center, featuring a museum, planetarium, restaurant, and conference center.”

PG&E is volunteering to remove the wires and the 220-foot high towers, an effort that will save the Powerhouse Science Center an estimated cost of $860,000. Removal of the wires and towers may take more than two weeks.

The Center will preserve the original structure and architectural features of the Power Station in full accordance to its 1984 listing on the National Registrar of Historic Properties and the California Register of Historic Resources. The Powerhouse Science Center will embody the principles of brownfield reuse and be an exemplary “green” building that serves as an environmental teaching lab that inspires the next generation of scientific innovators.

PG&E’s Power Station B officially ceased operations in 1954 and at various times has been under ownership of the Department of Transportation – for the construction of I-5 – the Department of Parks and Recreation, and the City of Sacramento. In 2008, the Discovery Museum Science & Space Center entered a long-term lease agreement with The City of Sacramento for control of the property and rights to build their new home – the Powerhouse Science Center.

The Center, which will cost an estimated $50 million, has nearly completed its pre-construction phase. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2013.

“We have owned this site for more than eight years, hoping to restore it to its former glory,” Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson said. “We have an opportunity to not only reconnect to our waterfront but offer an innovative educational facility that will garner broad appeal.”

The Powerhouse Science Center will serve as a public forum, showcasing the latest scientific discoveries in a venue that is accessible to the entire family. The Center will highlight the scientific achievements of the Sacramento region, the latest developments in medical science and technology, and the fundamentals of resource conservation.

The Powerhouse Science Center will include:

  • Generous exhibit space for current and traveling exhibits
  • Science laboratories and classrooms
  • 150-seat full-dome planetarium
  • New Challenger Learning Center
  • Robotics exhibit and lab
  • Environmental exhibits
  • Outdoor stage and screen
  • Cafe with outdoor seating
  • Restaurant with riverfront views
  • Spacious entry, reception, event and meeting areas
  • Bookstore and gift shop
  • Auto and bus parking areas

For more information on the Powerhouse Science Center, visit, email, or call 916 853-0343