The Monterey Bay Aquarium has purchased two buildings on Cannery Row for a new Ocean Education and Leadership Center.
Each year, more than 75,000 students and teachers benefit from the aquarium's free school programs - the new center will help expand and grow these programs.
One of the buildings will be transformed into a new K-12 Ocean Education and Leadership Center, which will focus primarily on providing innovative and highly interactive education programs for youth and teachers.
The center will accommodate an increase in the number of students who can attend an aquarium education program, and also have a much deeper impact on those students.
The buildings were purchased for $12.4 million, and will be significantly transformed to accommodate the expansive new education and leadership center. The purchase includes the parking lots adjacent to the buildings.
Plans for the center include four STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering and Math - learning labs, each able to accommodate 40 students, a large multi-use space for workshops and video teleconferences and a new pre-aquarium orientation space and a lunch area for visiting school groups.
It also includes offices for 35 education staff and volunteers and collaborative meeting spaces for staff, teachers and youth.
The new Ocean Education and Leadership Center is expected to open at the start of the school year in fall 2016.