Johnson City commissioners debated the future of the former Hands On! Museum location during Monday"s agenda review meeting. City Manager Pete Peterson suggested hiring a realtor to begin marketing the building to potential buyers.

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Tuesday night, hand On! Discovery facility members got a possibility to try out the brand-new home the the previous Hands On! Museum at the Gray Fossil Site and also Museum.


TVA"s Boone Dam building Manager Kevin Holbrook and his wife, Hollie, shot out the "Make It. Take It." an are at hands On! Museum through their 2 children, Jonathan, 4, and Kaitlyn, 5. TVA provided funding to extend the family members oriented "maker" exhibit.


The goal of the new and increased Hands On! Discovery facility is to carry generations together through science, technology, engineering, arts and also math experiments.


Families gain all hands on deck because that the VIP members night at hand On! exploration Center"s brand-new location at the Gray Fossil Site and also Museum.


Hands On! discovery Center"s doors opened up to members Tuesday night as family members got a feeling for the center"s brand-new home in ~ the Gray Fossil Site and Museum.

Johnson City Convention and Visitors bureau Chair Andy Marquart said the organization said input indigenous the city will guide next actions as the CVB prepares to different from the Johnson City Area chamber of Commerce.

When hand On! Museum opened up its doors in downtown Johnson City in 1987, it to be a marvel for children throughout the community and an attraction for tourists.

Now, 32 years later, hundreds of kids and also adults have walked with those doors come learn and discover with interactive exhibits that adjust regularly. Critical year, the museum make a far-ranging change v its move to eastern Tennessee State University’s home at the Gray Fossil Site and also Natural Museum off Tennessee Highway 75 near Daniel Boone High School.

With the brand-new location and partnership likewise came a brand-new name — hands On! Discovery center — and also other changes.

“There have been so plenty of positive changes, yet the best is our audience,” Andy Marquart, president and also CEO that the hand On! exploration Center and Gray Fossil Site, stated recently. “We room truly an all-ages suffer now, and also we have actually transformed our experience to engage much more people and also in a much more meaningful way. In our old location, we were not only limited in our content and also experiences, but also in the number of people we could serve.”

Marquart said the push that because Hands On! opened at the Gray Fossil website on June 1, 2018, there has been a “40 percent increase in all at once attendance, a 54 percent rise in group visits and a 78 percent boost in member sales. Us have had visitors indigenous 49 states and also several various other countries. 

“On our busiest days, we have over 600 visitors. Us have found that world will spend upward of three hours right here when they yes, really take it all in. The partnership with eastern Tennessee State University and also the facility for Excellence in Paleontology has collection us personally from plenty of other museum in the country. You can visit numerous science centers and fossil destruction sites, yet it"s extremely rare to incorporate both right into one inclusive experience.”

The move to Gray an ext than doubled the exhibit space.

Fast Facts:

• 70,000 visitors yearly from practically all 50 states and several foreign countries.

• gives 100,000 programs in the arts, sciences and humanities.

• Selected by reader of Marquee Magazine together the best museum in the region.

According to the facility’s website, the center “offers funny interactive experiences that include immersive exhibits choose a music Tesla coil, giant building blocks, a 3-story Paleo Tower, an arts studio and much more.

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“Guests are invited to technician a rocket, build a wind-powered car, produce an imaginative masterpiece and discover miscellaneous new. Visit an energetic fossil dig website dating earlier 5 million years and also enjoy exhibits and programs special the plant and also animal fossils that have actually been unearthed at the Gray Fossil Site, including a 10-ton mastodon.”

For an ext information around Hands On! exploration Center, go to, call 423-434-4263 or visit the museum at 1212 Suncrest Drive, Gray.