The Flint Hills Discovery Center (FHDC) is a $24.5 million project of the City of Manhattan. Its Grand Opening, on April 14, 2012, was a landmark event with almost 3,000 visitors. Construction of the building was funded through Sales Tax Revenue (STAR) Bonds, issued by the State of Kansas and repaid by a portion of the sales tax collected within the downtown redevelopment district.
The Flint Hills Discovery Center is a division within the City of Manhattan Parks and Recreation Department. It receives administrative support from several city departments including human resources, finance, and legal.
The day-to-day operational expenses of the Flint Hills Discovery Center are funded by three primary sources of revenue. The largest component is our earned revenues from admission fees, gift shop sales, education program registrations, membership sales and facility rental fees. This is augmented by contributions from individuals, foundations, grant programs and corporate sponsorships. Additionally, the Flint Hills Discovery Center receives a portion of the Special Parks & Recreation fund whose funding comes from the 10% liquor tax collected from establishments within the City.
The Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation
The Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation is a private 501(c)3 charitable organization that supports large projects and programs that help advance the mission of the FHDC. These include technology upgrades and films for the Horizon Ranch Flint Hills Immersive Experience Theater and the complete renovation of the second-floor children’s area, the Prairie Playscape, opened in 2022.