Insights Museum's last day

EL PASO, Texas - The Insights Science Museum will celebrate its 33rd anniversary on Feb. 14, 2013, but there won't be any champagne and roses.

On that day, the city of El Paso wants Insights to be completely moved out of the downtown building it occupies so the new downtown ballpark can be built.

But Insights isn't waiting. Saturday is its final day.

After 13 years working at the lynx exhibit, Lulu Ramirez, her co-workers and the exhibits at the Insights Science Museum are packing up.

"Many of them are actually borrowed," said Dr. Aaron Velasco, president of the Insights Board of Directors. "They'll go back to the ownership and then we'll store the others temporarily."

Velasco says there are two possibilities right now for Insights. One is working with the El Paso ISD and moving into the vacant Alamo Elementary. Or what Dr. Velasco calls a museum without walls. "That's something where we go out and do outreach specifically on science content to local schools."

Despite the departure of the Insights Museum, children in El Paso will still have another option.

Just blocks away, the Lynx Exhibit is moving into a building next door to its current site and expanding.

"We're calling it a living laboratory and that's the part I'm most excited about because it means we are going to invited El Pasoans in to look at our exhibits, vote on them and tell us what they like," said Laurie Paternoster co-founder and owner of the Lynx Exhibits and El Paso Exploreum.

The Lynx Exhibit will now be called El Paso Exploreum and has received nonprofit status.

The new building next door is also twice as big.

"We are the only major city in the United States that doesn't have a children's museum so this has been our dream since day one.  And it's a gift to El Paso," said Paternoster.

Meanwhile, back at Insights its next move is still up in the air, but Velasco says one thing hasn't changed.

"We are fully committed to serving the community and the children of El Paso," Velasco said.

Lulu Ramirez agrees.  "It's part of history. It's part of El Paso, Juarez and the surrounding areas. It has to survive."

Initially there was talk of having Insights share space in the new El Paso Exploreum building, but that's no longer likely.

The Lynx Exhibit will remain open until the Exploreum opens its doors on Jan. 26.

Saturday is the final day for the Insights Museum and you can visit for free. 

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