Building

Artist's rendition of the Quest Science Center 2.0.

The Livermore Science & Society Center has created a new logo and is changing its name to Quest.

The nonprofit — which formed a few years ago to finance, build and operate a new science education center in the heart of downtown Livermore — is unveiling a rebrand today, ahead of a $15 million fundraising campaign for its proposed facility: Quest Science Center 2.0.

Its new name and logo more accurately describe the anticipated journey where everyone is encouraged to Q (question) U (understand) and E (explore) S (science) and T (technology), according to the organization.

Quest is a collective of retirees from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, California, community leaders, and educators dedicated to bringing a science and technology center to the Tri-Valley.

“We want science to be accessible and approachable, and to show how it impacts the way we learn, work and live in our ever-changing world,” said Alan Burnham, Quest founder and chief financial officer, in a written statement. “We also want to spark interest in working in science and technology fields by collaborating with local educational partners, as well as Tri-Valley companies that are leaders in the STEM fields.” STEM Stands for science, technology, engineering and math.

Burnham started the effort to build a science center in 2017 when he enlisted the help of fellow LLNL colleagues Monya Lane, now the CEO and president of Quest, and Vaughn Draggoo, along with David Kent, a board member of the Tri-Valley Conservancy. Since then, Jay Davis and Rick Stulen joined the effort. When the City of Livermore announced redevelopment plans for downtown, the group advocated for the addition of a science center.

Since July 2018, the organization has been in negotiations with the City of Livermore on a long-term land lease deal. They hope to build and operate a roughly 20,000-square-foot, two-story building on about a third of an acre next to Stockmen’s Park, south of Railroad Avenue between South L Street and South Livermore Avenue. Early plans call for flexible exhibit and museum space to promote scientific learning through interactive displays, speakers, discussion groups and children’s activities.

The City Council in July approved continued negotiations on a development agreement between Livermore and Quest that requires completion of design by August 2021, building permit issuance by August 2023 and opening of the center by August 2025. Quest’s goal is to open well ahead of deadline, breaking ground in 2022 and opening the doors in 2023.

Livermore Science & Society Center raised more than $136,000 between March 6 and Dec. 31 last year, and had about $15,000 in total expenses, including educational outreach at science fairs, according to its most recent filing with the IRS.

While Quest’s primary goal is to raise funds and operate a science center, it also has an ongoing mission to engage in educational activities before it has a permanent home. This year, it brought traveling hands-on activities teaching science lessons on water and wind to thousands of residents at the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District’s Science Odyssey expo and competition in February, and the Livermore Innovation Fair in May.

“Our approach ensures that anyone — regardless of their age, education or knowledge of science fundamentals — can explore and learn at a level that’s right for them,” said Lane in a written statement. “They can go as far as their curiosity or interests take them — all the way to technical explanations or practical applications.”