UA's planned new gem and mineral museum downtown aims to enrich Tucson community
From turquoise mined by indigenous people in Arizona to rocks found on asteroids within the solar system, minerals tell a story.
With its expanded space and upgraded collection, the University of Arizona Gem and Mineral Museum aims to tell this story, bringing the Tucson community together to learn about the influence that minerals have on the planet, the environment and life itself.
The museum, which will now be called the UA Alfie Norville Gem and Mineral Museum, is set to open by fall 2020 and will be located in the historic Pima County Courthouse in the heart of downtown. The courthouse, which is undergoing renovations, will also be the new home to Visit Tucson and Pima County’s regional visitor center.
Currently located in the basement of the UA’s Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium, the UA Gem and Mineral Museum will upgrade from 3,500 square feet to over 11,000 square feet in the new space.
According to museum manager Eric Fritz, the bigger space provides an opportunity for the museum to expand its reach and to add more to its collection.
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