Congressman Turner and Dayton History issued a joint press release announcing that Dayton History will oversee and manage the planning, implementation and operation of a new educational center at the Mound site in Miamisburg.
Dayton History staff has started to process artifacts and digitize 80,000 negatives from the Mound Science and Energy Museum’s collections. Construction has not yet begun but planning is underway to reuse an existing building on the Mound site in conjunction with an engaging multi-media facility, which will allow the story of the Mound Lab to be told through educational programs, workshops and school-tours.
“I have long advocated for the Mound to receive the recognition it deserves, and today I am happy to join Dayton History in this success,” said Congressman Mike Turner. “The Mound and the men and women who worked there have played an important role in our country’s history and more importantly our region’s. I look forward to visiting the facility upon completion in 2017.”
“We want the world to understand the enormous impact Mound played in the U.S. weapons program and space exploration during the Cold War” said Brady Kress, Dayton History President & CEO…“key to the development of these new exhibits, are the Mound Lab retirees, who are subject matter experts and the heroes of these stories; their research and work helped win the Cold War.”
The new education center is scheduled to open in October 2017. Dayton History staff and the volunteers of the Mound Science and Energy Museum will work together to educate visitors of all ages on the fascinating history of the Mound Lab.
“This is another fine example of how the Mound is witnessing a rebirth through visitor traffic, commercial investment, and public amenities.” said Eric Cluxton, President of the Mound Development Corporation.
Mound Laboratory had its origins in the World War II Manhattan Project, in which Dayton scientists were responsible for the final chemistry and metallurgy to isolate polonium, which was needed for the atomic bomb initiator. After successful demonstrations of their work in the skies over Japan, a site was located in Miamisburg, Ohio and construction on the Mound Laboratory began to replace the wartime Runnymede Playhouse site in Oakwood.
The Mound Laboratory was the first permanent atomic energy facility to be constructed after the war in the United States, and its mission was to support atomic weapons research through the development of the radioactive element polonium. The Lab officially opened in 1949 with seventeen buildings built on the original 182 acre site.
Mound Laboratory was on the cutting edge of science and technology for more than 50 years with the U.S. nuclear weapons and space exploration programs. In 1954, development of the Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators at Mound provided electrical power for a variety of NASA space programs, including Apollo, Voyager I and II, Galileo, Cassini, the Mars rover and many more.