Now called Jane K. Beshear Capitol Education Center
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 23, 2015) — The Capitol Education Center will be named after First Lady Jane Beshear, in honor of her vision and dedication to creating the Capitol Campus’ energy efficient visitor and learning center, Gov. Steve Beshear announced today.
The Jane K. Beshear Capitol Education Center, as it will now be known, opened in Feb. 2013 and serves as an education and welcoming facility for the more than 60,000 students, teachers and other guests that visit the Capitol Campus each year.
“The Capitol Education Center would not exist today without the foresight and drive of Jane Beshear,” said Gov. Beshear. “Under her leadership, this former heating and cooling facility has been transformed into a modern space that promotes Kentucky government, geography, energy conservation and more. I could not be more proud of Jane and her work for this state; this center truly represents her commitment to education and the people of Kentucky.”
The Jane K. Beshear Capitol Education Center is located adjacent to the State Capitol and features a modern “green” design. The building is insulated with recycled denim and features a viewing platform on the roof with solar panels, a wind turbine and a rooftop garden. “Eco-screens” inside the center display how much energy the facility is using in real time and how much energy the building’s solar panels are creating.
The center is also outfitted with a range of interactive and multimedia kiosks and touch screens that provide information about sustainability, history, geography and tourism in Kentucky. The Kentucky Environmental Education Council (KEEC) is leading the effort to enhance the visitor experience and works alongside Kentucky Educational Television (KET) to generate, select and update content for the kiosks.
“Since opening more than two years ago, I have been so thrilled with the positive response from students and teachers who have visited the Capitol Education Center, because we created it with them in mind” said Jane Beshear. “I am honored for this recognition and hope that visitors will continue to enjoy and utilize this unique learning facility.”
In addition to today’s renaming announcement, Beshear also recognized a series of upgrades that will be made to the center by the end of Jan. 2016. They include:
- New projector and drop down screen
- Seven new all-in-one computers for kiosks
- Four new kinetic displays
- Updated kiosk software and media interactives
Jane Beshear was responsible for securing private donations to help outfit the center, including $250,000 from Duke Energy and top-of-the-line appliances for the center’s kitchen from General Electric.
Other key partners in helping to outfit the educational components of the center include the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Kentucky Department of Energy Development and Independence, the Kentucky Department of Education, the Kentucky Division for Air Quality, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Kentucky Historical Society, and the Commonwealth Office of Technology.
The Jane K. Beshear Capitol Education Center was a facility originally built in 1988 to house heating and cooling equipment for the Capitol Campus. As the campus grew, more space was needed for the equipment and it was moved to a different location, leaving the building empty and unused.