Hanford Reach Interpretive Center Offering Memberships in Spring - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Hanford Reach Interpretive Center Offering Memberships this Spring

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RICHLAND, Wash.--  The Hanford Reach Interpretive Center is now closer than ever to becoming a reality.

A new design-build plan is in place and construction is expected to start soon.

Now, the museum is working to offer membership experiences before the doors even open.

The Columbia River is what visitors will see from inside the new Hanford Reach Interpretive Center, which organizers hope will serve as a gateway into the history of our region.

But the center doesn't want people to wait any longer for those experiences, so they're inviting people to become members of the museum now.

"This community's waited a long time to have this building and we want to create as many opportunities as we can for people to be involved in this process," said Lisa Toomey, CEO of The Reach.

It's been ten years in the making, but The Reach says you won't have to wait much longer to start reaping the benefits of the museum.

People can start becoming members in April to enjoy boat tours of The Reach, agricultural bus tours and gain access to other regional museums.

"We can't do everything but we can sure help facilitate a more enhanced experience whatever there interest happens to be. Whether it's history or art or agriculture or wine, we feel that that's a really important role for us to play," Toomey said.

"Well the story is already there, the story about the Reach and our history. It's important and we have the ability and opportunity to start telling that story before the building is completed," said Rick Jansons, Vice President of the Richland Public Facilities District.

The membership program will also help support The Reach's efforts, which were recently criticized in an independent review required by the Department of Commerce.

Toomey said many of the criticisms are inaccurate and decisions The Reach makes are reviewed by local councils and organizations.

She said they are proactively preparing for the building and providing opportunities for the public now is one way of doing that.

"We have an obligation to make sure that we develop processes that will help to keep the building sustainable once it opens and I don't want to wait until our grand opening to do that," Toomey said.

Construction on the infrastructure for the building is scheduled to start in March and work on the building should start in June.

If you can't wait for the grand opening in June 2014 then you can sign-up for a membership, starting in April.