Tybee Island’s Marine Science Center has sat for decades on Strand Ave., just at the base of the pier. From this location they have taught children about marine life, helped to rehab sea animals, and participated in research projects with state and national groups. But on May 1st, Tybee’s Marine Science Center will be moving into its new home at 37 Meddin Dr. in the North Beach Parking Lot. I got a chance to speak with the President of their Board of Trustee’s, Cathy Sakas, and to get a peek at the new facility.
Anyone who has been to the old marine science center knows that it was a great place that had outgrown its location. The new building is a complete transformation from what it was. The architecture itself was created to be eco-friendly, with the roof shaped so that it could funnel rainwater to a tank that would be used for irrigation. Cathy also told me about plans to install solar panels to help power some of the tanks that would have to run 24/7. More than this, the building is designed to withstand a Category 3 hurricane, should one occur.
The bottom floor of the new building is open air and set up to accommodate up to six classes at a time. Almost the entirety of the furniture inside the building has been donated by Ikea. The land the building sits on has been donated by several different parties. Inside the bottom floor are large tanks to house some of their animals, as well as life size replicas of some of the turtles seen on Tybee Island.