The Monroe Tourism Development Authority (TDA) determined that a hands-on science and learning-themed facility will not only be an asset for city and county residents but will also serve to attract residents from surrounding counties and provide additional family opportunities for individuals staying in Monroe.

In studying potential locations for a science center, the TDA and City determined that a place in the downtown area would be best. The TDA purchased a 16,000-square-foot building at 316 E. Franklin Street, which previously served as a grocery store, restaurant, and nightclub. It sits adjacent to the Union County Public Library and the First Presbyterian Church on Windsor Street and is near the downtown businesses.

The City has also purchased two additional parcels near the proposed Science Center. These parcels will help in the development of the Science Center as well as create a gateway opportunity for the City and Downtown Monroe.

In July 2021, City Council voted officially to change the name of the Monroe Science Center to the Monroe Science Center Honoring Dr. Christine Mann Darden. This will be our first step in honoring Dr. Darden as well as being able to educate our guests about her essential contributions to the scientific community. The first exhibit in our traveling exhibit hall will celebrate her accomplishments and contributions to the NASA space program.