Science North in Sudbury focusing on reopening, but no date set

The CEO of Sudbury's science centre says staff are working to develop a plan to reopen, even though it’s unclear when that may be and what it will look like.

Both Science North and Dynamic Earth in Sudbury have been closed for two months

The CEO of Science North says he's not sure when the centre will be able to physically open to the public. (Science North)

The CEO of a Sudbury science centre says staff are working to develop a plan to reopen, even though it's unclear when that may be and what it will look like.

Science North and Dynamic Earth shut down two months ago in Sudbury due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Science North CEO Guy Labine says the centre has worked to stay relevant in the community without being physically open.

"It's been an interesting challenge," he said. "We pivoted to doing a number of things online, Facebook live events and other platforms we're using."

Labine says some staff are still on site doing capital work, which he says would be difficult with visitors inside.

He says animals are also being cared for during the closure.

"They just continue being in our science centre minus visitors," he said. "We have staff who look after them like they would if we had visitors. So to them, the only difference is not 100,000 eyeballs looking at them during the year."

Labine says there has been a financial impact as the centre is not getting any revenue from visitors. He says casual hourly staff have been laid off for now.

"Part of our focus now is reopening," he said.

"When that occurs, what it looks like and how we maximize the ability for us to reopen successfully while at the same time, realizing the situation is not going to go from black to white overnight. It's going to be a gradual process that needs to follow public health protocols."

Guy Labine is the CEO of Science North in Sudbury. (Bienvenu Senga/Radio-Canada)

Labine says work is being done to figure out how the centre will operate once it can reopen, while following physical distancing rules.

"We're going to rely on public health officials and their guidance," he said.

"Our teams are engaged in everything from PPE, to plexiglass panels at our sales desk to increased sanitization."

In the meantime, Labine says events will continue online until the centre reopens.

"Our goal is to sort of get back to a new normal, without necessarily knowing what that new normal will be."

With files from Markus Schwabe


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