Letter: Scaled-down Reach facility too small to include CREHST

February 16, 2013 

Although the news that a scaled-down version of the Hanford Reach Interpretive Center may soon become a reality is good, it shouldn't result in a misconception that this smaller facility with only 5,000 to 6,500 square feet of galleries can fully replace Richland's already operating and popular Columbia River Exhibition of History, Science and Technology (CREHST) Museum.

While that may have been the intent for the 61,000 square foot original concept of the Reach Center, it seems unlikely the scaled down version can adequately do this. How can this much smaller facility focus on the physical Hanford Reach area itself and still do justice to Hanford Site nuclear history and replace the interactive hands-on science area and changing exhibits covering all areas of science and history?

Let the Reach focus on the Columbia River, Ice Age Floods, Native Americans of the region, agriculture and the economy of the area and let CREHST continue to focus on Hanford History (including B Reactor tour support) and interactive science exhibits.

Why replace one community resource with the other and limit the opportunities when both can be vital assets to visitors and local residents alike?

MAUREEN HAMILTON, Richland

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