T.rex Discovery Centre History
The building of a world class facility to house the fossil record of the Eastend area started many years before the discovery of “Scotty” T.rex in 1994. In 1988 the Town of Eastend created the Eastend Tourism Board. This 10 member volunteer committee worked with the Town Council, members of the community, rural residents and business people. Through a series of public meetings the most important item the local people identified was the need for a Palaeontological Center to showcase the rich fossil record of the Frenchman River Valley and the Cypress Hills. From the first meeting in 1988, the Eastend Tourism Board has evolved into ECTA Inc. (Eastend Community Tourism Authority Inc.) On April 1, 2005, a new non-profit organization, the T.rex Discovery Centre Inc. assumed management of the Centre.
The building is constructed into the side of a hill on the north side of the Frenchman River Valley. This makes the building only visible from the front. The front overlooks the Town of Eastend and the beautiful Frenchman river valley.
The building features the working science of palaeontology and encourages visitors to explore different theories and see what they find. Hands on activities, demonstration area, educational activities for groups, real fossils to view and ask questions.
The T.rex Discovery Centre is located within the town limits in Eastend. The location is on the north side of the Frenchman River, which runs through the town.
The main components of the center are a Research Laboratory, Theatre, Main Display area, Education area, and Gift Shop/Administration area. In all the building is approx. 16,000 sq.ft in size.
The T.rex Discovery Centre also boasts a state of the art theatre for video presentations during the T.rex tour. This facility is also able to be used for a number of other functions which include live music, lectures, town meetings, computer aided slide presentations with audio capability as well as feature length DVD movies in full Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound.
Eastend Community Tourism Authority (ECTA) was the original sponsoring body for the building of the T.rex Discovery Centre. Financing has come from a wide range of local, regional, corporate, private and public organizations. The cost of the project was $ 3.9 million dollars.
It is currently run as a community based not-for-profit centre by the T-rex Discovery Centre Board.