Over thirty stakeholders attended the an informational briefing meeting held at the Polly Rosenbaum building in Phoenix on 5 November. Senator Gail Griffin kicked off the meeting by describing the natural resources concept model of the museum. She then opened the floor to questions – and there were no shortage of those. Senator Griffin, curator Catie Carter and Dr. Mikc Conway, Arizona Geological Survey's Chief of Geologic Extension Service, and project coordinator Rowena Davis answered questions with the most complete answers possible in a time when many issues remain unsettled. Many thanks to all the stakeholders and former volunteers who spent their Saturday meeting with the current museum team. Highlights of the discussion are shared below in bullet form:
How much will it cost to bring the Museum up to code and allow us to occupy it?
o A recent (2014-2015) ADOA report indicates ~ $900,000 for basic structural, electrical and plumbing repairs. To get the museum and museum property in ‘mint’ condition - $2,100,000.
Can the museum do justice to the broad science of sustainability of natural resources approach?
o We believe that it can and state statute S.B. 1530 mandates that it must.
How much will it cost to build and deploy museum exhibits consistent with the natural resources concept?
o We can’t answer that definitively, but we have reached out to museum experts at the University of Arizona, Tellus Museum and A.E. Seaman Museum at Michigan Tech University in Houghton, Michigan, regarding the cost of science museums. On the basis of those discussions, it appears that building a science museum can run well over $300 a square foot of exhibit space. MMNRE Museum includes 15,000 to 16,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space.
Where will the money to repair and build out the museum come from?
o We hope to strategize and deploy a fund-raising program drawing funds from public entities (city, county, state and federal), grants, private gifts, and corporate donations. Sen. Griffin led the way in establishing an account for the museum at the University of Arizona Foundation. This link is available for sharing at: http://tinyurl.com/SupportMM-NREMuseum.
At this time, what can stakeholders do?
o Stakeholders have deep knowledge of the community, local mineral community, educators, and financial and in-kind resources that the MMNRE Museum team lack. There must be close collaboration between stakeholders, eachers, students, clubs and associations, and the current museum team to fund and build out a museum that meets the need of the Phoenix community.
ADVISORY BOARD UPDATE
As of today, the Arizona Boards and Commissions has four (4) general applicants for the MM&NRE Museum Advisory Board. Counting Senator Griffin, Representative Leach and AZGS Interim Director Phil Pearthree, that brings the total of board applicants to seven (7). According to state statute S.B. 1530, the board should include twelve (12) applicants.
To apply for a position on the MMNRE Advisory Board, visit: http://bc.azgovernor.gov/bc/form/boards-and-commissions-application
Once at Boards and Commissions, drop below the fold to “Board/Commission Interests” to select for MM&NRE.
1 State Geologist