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H/Posts & Press Releases/Da Vinci Science Center Awarded NIZ Tax Revenue Financing

Da Vinci Science Center Awarded NIZ Tax Revenue Financing

Contact: Caroline Scutt,

ALLENTOWN, Pa., Sept. 2, 2021 – The Da Vinci Science Center is pleased to announce that the Allentown Neighborhood Improvement Zone Development Authority (ANIZDA) approved its request for NIZ financing to support the development of a new science center in downtown Allentown and has agreed to issue $20 million in revenue bonds backed by the NIZ tax revenues and gaming revenues to finance the project.  An estimated $6 million will be secured by Developer Dedicated NIZ Tax Revenues.  The balance will be secured by state gaming revenues committed to the development of the new science center in late 2017.  With this commitment by ANIZDA, the Science Center has raised $47 million of its $65 million goal.

The new 67,000 SF Da Vinci Science Center at PPL Pavilion, located adjacent to the PPL Center arena, will anchor an anticipated second wave of investment within the Neighborhood Improvement Zone (NIZ) over the next several years.  The NIZ is comprised of approximately 128 acres in center city Allentown and along the western side of the Lehigh River where certain state and local tax revenues generated by new and existing businesses within the NIZ can be used to pay debt service on bonds and loans issued for qualifying capital improvements.

“We appreciate the ongoing support from the City of Allentown and especially want to thank the ANIZDA Board of Directors for their financial investment and for sharing in our vision for a major new science center in downtown,” said Maureen Michael, Chief Administrative Officer and CFO. “The Science Center will make a significant contribution to the critical mass of activities available in downtown Allentown for both residents and visitors on weekends, holidays and evenings year round”, she noted. The new facility is expected to attract more than 400,000 visitors, support 487 full time jobs and $33.4 million in economic output annually.

In addition to being a major attraction for the region, the new Da Vinci Science Center at PPL Pavilion will be a regional center of excellence for STEAM – science, technology, engineering, arts and math – education, and a workforce development partner to area businesses.

 “The new Science Center will provide access to STEAM education resources for the more than 52,000 residents within a one-mile walking distance of the site and the 17,000 students in the Allentown School District” said Lin Erickson, Executive Director and CEO. “We plan to develop a STEAM career ladder for youth in the immediate neighborhood and throughout the region, helping them to prepare for careers in high demand STEM fields. ANIZDA’s investment in us today, is an investment in Allentown tomorrow,” she added.

About The Da Vinci Science Center

The Da Vinci Science Center is a national award-winning non-profit science center that has been bringing science to life and lives to science for nearly 30 years. Da Vinci Science Center experiences make science fun and approachable, helping to connect people of all ages and backgrounds with the wonders of science.  The Science Center engages more than 150,000 participants annually with its exhibits, programs, events, and partnerships. To learn more about these and other programs, visit and follow them on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter.