Challenger Space Center forced to relocate

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(Source: Arizona Challenger Space Center) (Source: Arizona Challenger Space Center)

The Arizona Challenger Space Center is now under deadline to pack up and find a new location after the property owner sold it. 

The buyer has not been identified, but according to the center’s executive director, Beverly Swayman, the educational facility has been in debt for many years and staff knew it would eventually have to close its doors.

Swayman says maintaining the building near 83rd Avenue and Lake Pleasant Parkway was costly.

“We want to spend money on the actual children and programming for children,” says Swayman.  “Maintaining a building of this size and magnitude is very difficult.”

The center will close August 5 and the building must be cleared out by the end of September. Swayman says she and the board are in talks with three city governments that can potentially help with a new location and funding.

Swayman says the center is dedicated to getting kids excited about math and science.

“You give them the tools, you give them the mentorships, you make the connections,” says Swayman.  “These children will surprise you.”

The Arizona Challenger Space Center opened in 2000 and hosts about 33,000 students every year through field trips, workshops, and space camps.

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