Those hoping to reopen the Detroit Science Center under a new name just got a major boost from a local company that invests in the electrical transmission grid.

On Tuesday ITC Holdings Corp. of Novi announced it was making a $500,000 donation to the institution, which is now called the Michigan Science Center (MSC).

“We greatly appreciate the support and commitment of ITC,” said Tom Stephens, chairman of the MSC board. “This donation is integral to our efforts to open the Michigan Science Center and accomplish our vital mission of inspiring children and their families to discover, explore and appreciate science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.”

The museum closed its doors last fall after racking up a $5.8 million debt. The museum went into the red for several reasons, like investing in a Ferndale shop called Design & Exhibits and recouping lower than expected box office returns from a Mexican mummy exhibit.

Facing closure, the institution was saved from financial oblivion this summer by Ron Weiser, an Ann Arbor businessman and former Republican National Committee Finance Chairman. Weiser bought the Detroit Science Center’s land, building and contents from its mortgage holder Citizen's Bank and is currently working out an arrangement to sell these holdings back to center's new board at a price significantly lower than the amount the institution owed to the bank.

ITC's gift is the latest in a string of recent good news for the institution.

In the past few months The MSC has received approval to operate as a not-for-profit organization and has secured more than $2.5 million in donations and financial comittments from a variety of sources including The General Motors Foundation, The Ford Foundation, Penske Corporation and the Manoogian Fund.

MLive reports that the MSC board is now halfway to meeting its fundraising goal, but has not yet determined a projected opening day.

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  • 2012 Detroit Maker Faire

    The 2012 Detroit area Maker Faire took place at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich. on July 28-29. Members of the Goodrich High School Robotics Team take the time machine out for a spin.

  • 2012 Detroit Maker Faire

  • 2012 Detroit Maker Faire

    The 2012 Detroit area Maker Faire took place at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich. on July 28-29. The woman pictured here is playing a life-sized game of Operation.

  • 2012 Detroit Maker Faire

    The 2012 Detroit area Maker Faire took place at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich. on July 28-29. "Scientists" put the finishing touches on glazed ceramic organs for the Innovation Institute at Henry Ford in order to raise awareness about the need for organ donors.

  • 2012 Detroit Maker Faire

    The 2012 Detroit area Maker Faire took place at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich. on July 28-29. Glazed ceramic organs on display at the Innovation Institute At Henry Ford booth. Visitors could make their own at the booth, an effort to raise awareness about the <a href="http://www.henryford.com/body.cfm?id=54362" target="_hplink">need for organ donors</a>.

  • 2012 Detroit Maker Faire

    "Scientists" put the finishing touches on glazed ceramic organs for the Innovation Institute at Henry Ford in order to raise awareness about the need for organ donors.

  • 2012 Detroit Maker Faire

    The 2012 Detroit area Maker Faire took place at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich. on July 28-29. A child looks at a cycle from Dozer Studio.

  • 2012 Detroit Maker Faire

    A sculpture near the Dozer Studio booth.

  • 2012 Detroit Maker Faire

    The WEC Institute, a nonprofit research and development institute, is assembling this plane that was donated by the family of Ted George, an engineer who passed away in 1992. WEC plans to install a modern steam-powered engine into the vehicle.

  • 2012 Detroit Maker Faire

    Pictured here are Gunnar and Andre Renier of the WEC Institute, a nonprofit research and development institute.

  • 2012 Detroit Maker Faire

    Part of the WEC Institute's mission is to study technologies that have fallen out of popular use.

  • 2012 Detroit Maker Faire

    The 2012 Detroit area Maker Faire took place at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich. on July 28-29.

  • 2012 Detroit Maker Faire

    William McKenzie, 14, of the Goodrich High School Robotics team in Goodrich, Mich. demonstrates a robotic spider vehicle created by the team.

  • 2012 Detroit Maker Faire

    Brett Lee , 32, shows off a recumbent off-road trike he designed.

  • 2012 Detroit Maker Faire

    The 2012 Detroit area Maker Faire took place at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich. on July 28-29. Teenager Kathryn DiMaria is <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/18/kathryn-dimaria-teen-restores-car-pontiac-fiero_n_1432855.html" target="_hplink">building her own Fiero</a>.

  • 2012 Detroit Maker Faire

    Ashley Chapa, 14, and Royal Dunlap, 15, are part of the Aspiring Innovators, a project sponsored by The Henry Ford.

  • 2012 Detroit Maker Faire

    The Zombie Killer was put together by Washtenaw Community College's Auto Body Repair department, Custom Cars and Concept Department. The college is located in Ann Arbor, Mich.

  • 2012 Detroit Maker Faire

    Pictured in the orange hat is John Behrendt, 18, of the Ann Arbor Huron High School Robotics team (Rat Pack 830). He is posing with a robot designed to collect and shoot basketballs.

  • 2012 Detroit Maker Faire

    This geodesic dome is put together by a group called Syncytium.

  • 2012 Detroit Maker Faire

    This geodesic dome is put together by a group called Syncytium. Pictured here are Frank Anderson, Amanda Sari Perez, Theresa Carranza, Shawn Kirmizian and Josh Valdes.

  • 2012 Detroit Maker Faire

    This machine was on display at the ShopBot Tools booth.

  • 2012 Detroit Maker Faire

    Pictured here are robowarriors from i3 Detroit's Robot Fight Club.

  • 2012 Detroit Maker Faire

    Matt Switlik and James Valleroy of i3 Detroit and Cynthia Bardel-Switlik pose with a robot baloon fighter.

  • 2012 Detroit Maker Faire

    Tri-3 Knock Bottles was a game located at the i3 Detroit booth.

  • 2012 Detroit Maker Faire

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/17/detroit-east-side-riders-bikes_n_1429684.html" target="_blank"> Detroit East Side Riders Bike Club</a> grill a little food on their BBQ bike.

  • 2012 Detroit Maker Faire

    The 2012 Detroit area Maker Faire took place at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich. on July 28-29. The East Side Riders' new smurf bike.

  • 2012 Detroit Maker Faire

    The East Side Rider's Pooh Bike.

  • 2012 Detroit Maker Faire

    OmniCorp Detroit is a local makerspace. Featured here are some mopeds that belong to some members of the space.

  • 2012 Detroit Maker Faire

    i3 Detroit demonstrates a "telepathic" Mindflame device.

  • 2012 Detroit Maker Faire

    The 2012 Detroit area Maker Faire took place at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich. on July 28-29.

  • 2012 Detroit Maker Faire

    The 2012 Detroit area Maker Faire took place at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich. on July 28-29.

  • 2012 Detroit Maker Faire

    The 2012 Detroit area Maker Faire took place at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich. on July 28-29.

  • 2012 Detroit Maker Faire

    The 2012 Detroit area Maker Faire took place at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich. on July 28-29.

  • 2012 Detroit Maker Faire

    The 2012 Detroit area Maker Faire took place at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich. on July 28-29.

  • 2012 Detroit Maker Faire

    The 2012 Detroit area Maker Faire took place at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich. on July 28-29.

  • 2012 Detroit Maker Faire

    The 2012 Detroit area Maker Faire took place at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich. on July 28-29.

  • 2012 Detroit Maker Faire

    The 2012 Detroit area Maker Faire took place at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich. on July 28-29.

  • 2012 Detroit Maker Faire

    Dave Dameche stands with a prototype low-cost modular motorcycle.

  • 2012 Detroit Maker Faire

    The 2012 Detroit area Maker Faire took place at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich. on July 28-29.

  • 2012 Detroit Maker Faire

    The 2012 Detroit area Maker Faire took place at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich. on July 28-29.

  • 2012 Detroit Maker Faire

    The 2012 Detroit area Maker Faire took place at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich. on July 28-29. The ever popular eepybird Mentos and Coke Zero demonstration where everyday products are used to stage a spectacular spray fountain show. To find out more, visit www.eepybird.com.

  • 2012 Detroit Maker Faire

    The ever popular eepybird Mentos and Coke Zero demonstration where everyday products are used to stage a spectacular spray fountain show.

  • 2012 Detroit Maker Faire

    The ever popular eepybird Mentos and Coke Zero demonstration where everyday products are used to stage a spectacular spray fountain show.

  • 2012 Detroit Maker Faire

    The ever popular eepybird Mentos and Coke Zero demonstration where everyday products are used to stage a spectacular spray fountain show.

  • 2012 Detroit Maker Faire

    The 2012 Detroit area Maker Faire took place at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich. on July 28-29. The ever popular eepybird Mentos and Coke Zero demonstration where everyday products are used to stage a spectacular spray fountain show.

  • 2012 Detroit Maker Faire

    Jeff Basting, 50, of Milford and Chris Oesterling, 45, belong to the Detroit Amateur Television Society. The group makes unique cameras, such as a potato gun camera (left) and a ballon camera (right).

  • 2012 Detroit Maker Faire

    Pictured here are Seita Koike, 51, from Tokyo City University and Daryl Hansen, 24, from Indiana who presented MugBot, a simple robot designed to explore human-robo social interaction.

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