SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- There's another news target date for re-opening Wonders of Wildlife, the American National Fish and Wildlife Museum. It was last open to the public in 2007 and, since then, has had several re-opening dates set that were not met.
Now, as you drive by, you can see progress taking place on a new building. With that comes more new dates.
Construction crews began putting up the steel this winter. On one part of the project, the Conservation Education Center, the steel is all up, and Wonders of Wildlife leaders say that part will be open and ready for students by December.
The sights and sounds of progress are now easy to spot at Wonders of Wildlife.
"It's much bigger than what I had expected," said Springfield School District board president Gerry Lee.
School district administrators got a good look at the frame that will soon transform into a learning environment.
"This is a real hands-on type of curriculum. You've got the animal holding rooms over there where animals will be brought into the classroom and these, again, are state of the art," said Wonders of Wildlife board chairman Rob Keck.
"I just couldn't be more excited. It's absolutely fantastic what they're going to be exposed to," said School District Deputy Superintendent Peggy Riggs.
WOLF school, an already popular program for Springfield fifth graders, is about to get even wilder.
"It will change the way that they see nature, the way the interact in nature, and it really is life altering," said Riggs.
"Throughout this great corridor, there's going to be display areas where students can take and display all their crafts, from bird houses to wood duck boxes," said Keck.
The Conservation Education Center will also include banquet halls and an expo center, which will house displays and traveling exhibits.
Wildlife galleries and huge aquariums will fill other parts of the wildlife museum, including a 30-foot-deep saltwater tank. It's all getting closer to a reality, thanks to the man next door, the owner of Bass Pro Shops.
"I have to say, 'Thank you, so much,' to Johnny Morris for the vision and his wonderful staff," said Riggs.
"This community will be so blessed down the road when this is done," Lee said.
Wonders of Wildlife says parts of the wildlife galleries above Bass Pro will open sometime this year too.
Again, the Conservation Education Center is supposed to open by December, and the rest of the museum by December 2012.
The total price tag for the project, Keck says, is more than $80 million, with a huge portion from Morris.