Estrella, by Newland Communities, opened their new Exploratorium at the Estrella Information Center to the public today after a successful ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday night. Mayor Cavanaugh of Goodyear, Mayor Meck of Buckeye, Goodyear city council members, City of Goodyear officials, dignitaries from local historical organizations, and Newland Communities executives were on hand for the inaugural event.
While a harpist played in the background, guests mingled prior to Steven Pritulsky, the senior vice president of operations for Newland’s Phoenix Division, and James Cavanaugh, the Mayor of Goodyear, addressed the attendees.
"Newland Communities has been good for Goodyear," said Mayor Cavanaugh. "If it weren’t for the residents of Estrella, Goodyear would not have been honored with the All- America City award. I am thankful to Newland Communities and I think the Exploratorium is great for the whole city."
"Newland Communities is very proud of Estrella’s history and is excited to unveil the first community museum in the Southwest Valley," said Pritulsky. "We look forward to educating residents and visitors by not only providing a retrospective of the area, but also by encouraging interest in future development and discovery."
Greg Bielli, president of Newland Communities’ Western Region, and Wootie Danielson, Newland’s employee with by far the longest tenure at Estrella, joined Mayor Cavanaugh in honor of cutting the red ribbon at the entrance of the Exploratorium, at which point guests were welcomed to enter and peruse the impressive exhibit.
The Exploratorium features a four panel timeline which explores the past, present, and future of Estrella. The timeline begins by discussing the first inhabitants of the Estrella land, the Hohokam Native Americans, and goes on to examine the progression of Arizona being acquired by Spain, Mexico, and eventually the United States in 1863.
The second panel spans from 1912 to 1984 from the time Arizona was admitted to the Union as the 48th state through Estrella’s land being released by the federal government for private ownership. The purchase of the Estrella property in 1985 and its subsequent development over the years are showcased on the third panel and the fourth panel concludes the timeline by providing a glimpse of Estrella’s future. The Exploratorium also includes eight artifact kiosk displays which showcase the rich history of the area and provide insight into the community’s past.
The Exploratorium would not have been possible without the valuable contributions from Jackie and Verlyne Meck, Three Rivers Historical Society, West Valley View, the Golf Club at Estrella, Maricopa County Parks and Recreation, Culver White of Russ Lyon Realty and the Beloat Family.
For more information about the Exploratorium at the Estrella Information Center or to volunteer for the Estrella Historical Society to help grow the history of the Exploratorium, please call (623) 386-1000.
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