Friday, December 21, 2007 at 6:00 AM
Toledo's science museum, unable to muster more support from voters, has announced it will close at the end of the year. More than 3 million people have visited the museum in its nearly 11 years of operation. But, museum officials say they can't afford to stay open. ideastream's Tasha Flournoy has this report.
Toledo’s Center for Science and Industry has operated at a deficit since its opening in 1997, but operators had hoped admissions fees and donors would keep exhibits and science events going. That was until last year, when officials said the center’s 2.2 million-dollar budget was not enough to sustain operations.
Since then, voters have rejected two ballot requests for more than a million dollars per year in additional support.
COSI’s Director of Operations Lori Hauser says the museum made attempts to remain open.
Lori Hauser: Well, we cut a million out of our budget and we cut our staffing by 50 percent, but what we were finding is that we had a loss of funds. If the levy would have passed it would have 1.5 million.
Hauser says some of that money would have paid for exhibit updates that would have improved museum attendance and added more programs. But with the levy rejected twice, she says, COSI’s board made the difficult decision to close its doors on December 31.
They’ve mounted an online campaign to raise money and rally public officials to help reopen COSI sometime in the future.
Tasha Flournoy, 90.3.
Arts and Culture, Community/Human Interest
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