FARGO - A science museum in the Fargo-Moorhead area is now one step closer to becoming a reality.

A number of community members and the Moorhead Business Association met to discuss the possibilities.

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The museum is still in the early stages of planning, but the Fargo-Moorhead Science Museum Project Committee hopes to create one that's similar to other world-class museums.

As of right now, the nearest museum is 200 miles away. North Dakota State University geology lecturer Jessie Rock said that a museum in the F-M area would also do good for the area's economy.

"Many people travel 200 miles or more to visit a science museum," Rock said. "They are staying in hotels, they are paying for gas and eating out. And all of these things - that's a lot of money walking out of our community."

The committee sent out a survey and got 2,400 responses. Of those responses, 97 percent of people supported the establishment of a permanent museum.

"Parents here today and in the survey indicate that we need more places to go indoors in the winter," said Rock. "And we need access to a natural science outlet that is bricks and mortar - open during cold weather. "

The committee is currently looking for grants and asking for donations. They also plan to create a fundraising campaign this spring.