The Detroit Science Center has broken ground on an 80,000-square-foot addition to the museum.The $15 million cost of the four-story addition will be funded by The Thompson Educational Fund, which will lease the addition to the Science Center for $1 a year. The University Prep Science & Math Middle School, a public charter school of 486 students, will be located in the addition and will have daily access to the museum’s resources, which includes exhibits and an Imax Theater. The partnership is designed to foster the students’ interest in college and career opportunities in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.The addition, on the site of a former parking lot, is expected to open in the spring of 2009. In addition to the school, it will also house a new lobby, café, gift shop and welcome center.The Science Center, currently 110,000 square feet, is one of the ten largest in the country, and has hosted more than 2.1 million visitors since its re-opening in 2001. Both the architect, Gunn Levine, and contractor, DeMaria, on the expansion project are Detroit-based firms.