A little over a year after breaking ground, the Wattles Jacobs Education Center is now open.

The Whaling Museum celebrated its four story addition Saturday with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Johnny Cake Hill.

A large portion of funding came from the Wattles and Jacobs families, and Dr. Irwin Jacobs says his support stemmed from the center's major goal of education.

"That indeed is what drew us to participate in support of this wonderful addition to the museum, the fact that one key emphasis was on education," Jacobs said.

Gurdon Wattles said the addition is a "joyful merger of many elements of ideas and designs."

Mayor Jon Mitchell said the new education center will help supplement the learning going on in the city's classrooms.

Kids will have an opportunity to learn in ways that aren't possible in the classrooms...but also to challenge themselves and to succeed in ways they might not expect," Mitchell said.

The addition contains four new galleries and will exhibit thousands of new artifacts to the public.

It also houses multiple learning labs for students throughout the city as well as the museum's own high school Apprenticeship Program.

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