Wattles Jacobs Education Center

Wattles Jacobs Education Center

For more information on the campaign to build the Wattles Jacobs Education Center, please contact Alison Smart, Senior Director of Development, at (508) 717-6815.  Ways to Give Card (JPEG) 611kb

Building A Transformative Experience Brochure (PDF)   |   Capital Campaign Letter   |   Top 12 Reasons

 

On May 19th, with more than 280 guests in attendance including dignitaries, trustees, donors, volunteers, staff and students, the New Bedford Whaling Museum celebrated the official ground breaking of the new Wattles Jacobs Education Center.  The  Center is the most ambitious project at the Whaling Museum since the construction of the historic Bourne Building in 1916.

 

Official Ground Breaking Ceremony (1:15:48)

The new Wattles Jacobs Education Center is named in honor of the building’s top funders. The Wattles and Jacobs families each donated leadership gifts to the project. 

“Through the new Center, the Museum is positioning itself to make major advances in its ability to preserve, transmit and disseminate, through education, much of the knowledge in its library and in its collection,” said Gurdon B. Wattles, trustee, New Bedford Whaling Museum. “We are most appreciative to the many supporters who have joined in this effort. Kathy and I are honored to be a part of it.”

“Joan and I strongly support the Whaling Museum’s new Education Center, a key addition which will enhance the collection and bring education, research, and tourism benefits to the region,” said Irwin M. Jacobs, PhD, member, New Bedford Whaling Museum Advisory Council. “We invite the community to join the many benefactors committed to a timely completion of this exciting project.”

The four-floor, 17,000 square foot building will connect to the existing Whaling Museum campus and be constructed on a site left vacant since the devastating gas explosion of 1977. The Center, scheduled to open in Summer 2015, will house new classrooms, a high-tech Reading Room, climate controlled storage vaults for the Whaling Museum’s collection, a laboratory for the flagship Apprenticeship Program, and a fourth floor multi-use assembly space with majestic views of New Bedford Harbor.

The Center will allow the Whaling Museum to meet its dramatically expanding programming needs and consolidate its holdings onto one campus. Currently, more than 12,000 K-12 students from across New England participate in structured school programs at the Whaling Museum on an annual basis. The Center will provide 3,000 sq. feet of new classroom space, more than quadrupling the Whaling Museum’s existing classroom space. The new classrooms will accommodate concurrent visits and provides flexibility to allow for varied group sizes and teaching approaches. The Center will enhance the Whaling Museum’s ability to actively engage in efforts to improve educational attainment by expanding its meaningful, out-of-the-classroom experience for students and educators.

As the largest cultural attraction in the south coast region, the Whaling Museum draws a diverse constituency. More than half the Museum’s 90,000 annual visitors are drawn from outside of Massachusetts, with one third of visitors coming from other New England states and one third of visitors coming from the remainder of the country and worldwide. The visitor experience will be greatly enhanced as a result of the new Center with the addition of at least 4 new galleries and an entire floor dedicated as a multi-use assembly space for educational activities, conferences and events.

 

Capital Campaign Letter

Capital Campaign Co-Chairs
George B. Mock III and Donald S. Rice

 

Dear Friends,

On May 19, 2014 the New Bedford Whaling Museum will break ground for the construction of its new Education Center and Research Library. The culmination of years of planning and fundraising, the new building will at long last allow the Museum to consolidate its staff, collections, research, and educational programs on Johnny Cake Hill. This new center is certain to bring great and lasting benefits both to the Museum’s membership and the region it serves.

Through the new Center, the Museum is positioning itself to make major advances in its ability to preserve, transmit and disseminate, through education, much of the knowledge in its library and in its collection. We are most appreciative to the many supporters who have joined in this effort. Kathy and I are honored to be a part of it.

– Gurdon B. Wattles

 

Joan and I strongly support the Whaling Museum’s new Education Center & Research Library, a key addition which will enhance the collection and bring education, research, and tourism benefits to the region. We invite you to join the many benefactors committed to a timely completion of this exciting project.

Dr. Irwin M. Jacobs

 

The combination of reaching 83% of our $6.5 million fundraising goal coupled with a strong endowment, zero debt, repeated balanced budgets and dynamic and expanding programmatic activity greatly enhances the compelling case for donor support.

Trustees have discussed at great length how best an institution such as ours, in a community like New Bedford, can most usefully apportion its resources; when and how does it operate with optimal efficiency and when and in what amount capital investment in bricks and mortar is justified? Trustees have arrived at a solution that will ensure the long-term viability of the institution, justifying the capital investment in infrastructure while creating a platform for growth for decades into the future.

Over its 111 year history, dedicated and far-sighted members have consistently stepped forward to help underwrite the Museum’s mission and ensure its economic stability. The entire region has benefitted from this generosity - from local grade-schoolers to world renowned scholars; from the descendants of 19th century whalemen to every member of the community with an interest in the history, culture and art of the South Coast. We earnestly hope that you will become part of this great tradition and help to make the Education Center and Research Library a reality.

George B. Mock III
Capital Campaign Co-Chair

Donald S. Rice
Capital Campaign Co-Chair

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Top Twelve Reasons for building a new
Educational Center and Research Library

1 Quadruple educational classroom space
2  Dedicate space for the innovative High School Apprenticeship Program
3 Renovate and connect to the Sundial Building and Captain Paul Cuffe Park
4 Expand the roof-deck with stunning views of New Bedford harbor
5  Beautify Water Street and Johnny Cake Hill by building on a vacant lot
6  Bring all programs, collections, staff and volunteers under one roof
7  Install climate-control systems throughout the entire Johnny Cake Hill campus
8 Enhance the visitor experience with a more cohesive floor plan
9 Add 4 new public galleries to display more of the collection
10 Computer climate controlled vaults with compact storage for the collection
11 Gain efficiencies and energy savings by consolidating all assets into a modern facility
12 Expand access to the Research Library by connecting to the main galleries

 

Last Modified: August 12, 2014