Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

Dinosaurs are coming to COSI, thanks to a public-private partnership with the science center, the American Museum of Natural History in New York City and the Columbus Downtown Development Corp.

The pact will bring two new areas to the science museum: the American Museum of Natural History Dinosaur Gallery, which is expected to open in fall 2017, and the American Museum of Natural History Exhibition Gallery, whose first exhibit is set for February 2018.

According to the announcement from COSI, the Dinosaur Gallery will include a life-size model of a Tyrannosaurus rex fossil, as well as loaned specimens from AMNH's dinosaur exhibits and interactive activities. The Exhibition Gallery will host rotating curated special exhibitions from the museum.

The project will be managed by the CDDC, which also is overseeing the creation of an 8-acre park and underground parking garage on the site of the current COSI surface lots.

COSI, the park and the new partnership all are pieces of the Scioto Peninsula Master Plan development. According to the announcement, COSI brings about 660,000 visitors a year to that area of downtown Columbus.

The state of Ohio is contributing $5 million toward the dinosaur exhibits, and Abigail and Leslie Wexner made a $2 million gift to the project.