The Space Foundation closed on space to nearly triple the size of its Discovery Center education complex located near Garden of the Gods Road.

The additional 85,319 square feet, which was purchased for just more than $6 million, is at 4435 Arrowswest Drive and adjoins its current building at 4425 Arrowswest Drive. The acquisition will expand the total space from 45,716 square feet to a total of 131,035 square feet.

“This acquisition does more than increase our physical space. It allows us to expand and bring even more opportunity to the community and in particular our STEM education mission that every day, makes a difference in building a spacefaring future and developing the next generation workforce,” said Space Foundation CEO Thomas Zelibor in the release. “The expansion of our Discovery Center means more students, teachers, parents and space community partners can take part in that mission and the adventures that come with it.”

The purchase was funded through an agreement with the El Pomar Foundation, the release said. Additionally, the selling price was significantly reduced through a $1.9 million donation from Grapevine Investments LLP.

“None of this would have been possible without the help and generosity of our community partners, El Pomar Foundation and Grapevine Investments,” Zelibor said. “Their investment in us goes far beyond the physical structure of the Space Foundation. It’s making sure we can do more, to serve more and make an even bigger world of difference to those who see space as an adventure and opportunity for all. We are humbled and grateful for their incredible support.”

The Space Foundation moved into its current location in 2011, and over the past years has expanded the Discovery Center to include El Pomar Space Gallery, Northrop Grumman Science Center featuring Science On a Sphere and the Lockheed Martin Space Education Center. There are more than 40,000 visitors to the Discovery Center each year.

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