Planet Aqua Group takes over management of Sci-Port

Published: Aug. 16, 2017 at 6:14 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 16, 2017 at 9:07 PM CDT
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(Source: Bubba Kneipp/KSLA News 12)
(Source: Bubba Kneipp/KSLA News 12)

That announcement was made during a news conference Wednesday afternoon at the Shreveport riverfront venue.

As a result, the learning museum will be closed from Labor Day until Dec. 31. The IMAX movie venue will remain open during the transition.

Planet Aqua Group is the company behind Shreveport Aquarium

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - After financial struggles and the loss of an Executive Director, there's been questions about the future of Sci-Port. Planet Aqua Group will essentially take over the open role of Executive Director.

"You can think of this as a rebranding and creating some new efficiencies to make sure its around for the future," said Rich Lamb of the Sci-Port Board of Directors.

"This is a very exciting announcement. This is a happy day," he continued.

The agreement means significant renovations to the non-profit and its exhibits. Exhibits will be more modern and accessible to those with disabilities. It's also a restructuring of finances and personnel.

72 employees were laid off Wednesday but will be invited back to a job fair in November.

The name and mission of Sci-Port will remain the same.

"You'll still see that STEAM- based education exhibitry here but it will be in a new package," said Jake Wood of Planet Aqua Group.

Much of the updates that will be made while Sci-Port is closed are expected to be ready for the annual TOAST on Dec. 31.

The new Sci-Port combined with the opening of the Aquarium is being branded as a revitalization of the riverfront area.  

"This is really where the eyes of the Riverfront should be right now and to have them working together, I can't think of something that is a better scenario," said Liz Swaine, Executive Director of the Downtown Development Authority. 

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