Thursday, October 4, 2012

Mid-America Museum qualifies for major grant

Posted By on Thu, Oct 4, 2012 at 9:16 AM

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The Mid-America Science Museum in Hot Springs will qualify for a $7.8 million grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation thanks to a $520,000 pledge from the Hot Springs Advertising and Promotion Commission that completed a local $1.7 million matching requirement. That means almost $10 million will go to a major renovation and expansion.

Editorial comment: The A&P Commission is a beneficiary of the local tax on restaurant and hotel sales. It is much hated by the 'baggers and Elmer Gantry types who've come to control much of Hot Springs and Garland County government, but who — so far — haven't been able to gut the marketing, convention center and local attraction support provided by the commission and its revenue, much of it supplied by visitors. Otherwise known as golden egg-laying geese.

Full details follow:

NEWS RELEASE

The Hot Springs Advertising and Promotion Commission today [Tuesday, October 2] approved a $520,000 pledge that will enable Mid-America Science Museum to obtain a $7.8 million grant from the Donald Reynolds Foundation.

The money, which will be provided over a five-year period, puts the museum’s current capital campaign over the top on a $1.7 million matching fund that was needed to secure the Reynolds grant. It was approved at a special called meeting of the A&P Commission.

“The Commission is pleased that we are able to provide the necessary money to guarantee this once-in-a-lifetime grant from the Reynolds Foundation,” said David Longinotti, chairman of the A&P Commission. “Mid-America Science Museum is an invaluable resource for the city’s tourism industry as well as a key part of the city’s educational and cultural life.”

The Commission’s contribution will enable the museum to begin construction on a massive renovation and expansion program that will include the addition of a ramp that extends into the canopy of the forest that surrounds the facility. The ramp will be elevated 30 feet off the ground. Renovation of virtually the entire museum is included in the project.

The Commission owns the museum, which is operated by a private board and volunteers.

The $520,000 will extend through 2018 the Commission’s pledge to support the museum financially until complete control is assumed by the museum’s board of trustees.

For more information contact Steve Arrison, 501-321-2027.

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