County Puts Plans to Fund Brogan on Hold

By: Mike Springer Email
By: Mike Springer Email

Tallahassee, FL December 12, 2012

Two months ago, the Mary Brogan Museum of Art and Science seemed on the verge of a comeback. But the plans to resurrect the museum may now be on hold.

In a 6-1 vote Tuesday, Leon County Commissioners tabled the $150,000 dollar request indefinitely to fund the Mary Brogan Museum of Art and Science. A request that seemed all but assured back in October.

"I wanted to see more certainty of where the money was going to come from. I wanted to see more certainty of how the plan was actually going to continue to develop and work out," says Leon County Commissioner, Nick Maddox who voted against the funding.

Financial woes forced the museum to close its doors in January. In October, County Commissioners approved money to be used to help the museum relaunch itself under a new name and with a new focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math or STEM programs.

But now the County's decision to withdraw that support has left some at the museum feeling blindsided.

"I would say it was a bit of a shock," says Trish Hanson.

Hanson is an independent contractor for the Brogan Museum. She says the County's decision is a hurdle they will have to overcome.

"The partners that we had in place, which were mentioned at the county commission meeting, still want to partner with us. The beauty is they see this value in what we want to provide," says Hanson.

The Museum says the lack of funding will force it to significantly cut back or delay some of its STEM Programs. However the museum says the other programs it offers should not be affected.

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Tallahassee, Florida- A Leon County Museum may soon be back in business, but with a new name and vision.

Financial troubles forced the Mary Brogan Museum of Art and Science to closed its doors in January. Now the museum is hoping a one-time $150,000 boost from the County can give it a second chance.

Leon County Commissioners approved the proposal earlier this week. Under the proposal, the museum would be renamed The Florida Center for the Sciences. It would specialize in STEM programs-Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, offering training and classes in those areas.

Despite the museum's previous financial struggles, County Commissioners say they're confident the museum's new direction will make it a success.

"Programs that will bring people in, that they will pay to come in and use a certain program and (these programs) can access grant money better than exhibits. That's where it's financially sustainable," says Kristin Dozier, Leon County Commissioner for District 5.

It's unclear yet where the funds for the museum will come from. The proposal called for the funds to be taken from the County's Reserve Fund. Doing so would use up about 66 percent of those funds, leaving the County with just $85,300 in its reserve.

The other option being explored is taking money from the County's Bed Tax Fund which has about $1 million dollars in it.

The proposal says the museum should be able to fund itself through its programs, admission prices and camps.

The final details on the museum's financing may be heard by County Commissioners in the next few months.

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Here's a breakdown of where the $150,000 would go:

Use of Funds Amount
Temporary Contract Services
a. STEM Consultant 25,000
b. Education Consultant 14,250
c. Accounting Services 17,000
d. Technology Services 9,200
e. Education Facilitator Services 2,720
Educational Programs & Materials
STUDIO STEM
a. Research, evaluation, curriculum 30,000
b. Materials, supplements, training workshop, other curriculum elements, supplies 5,500
TEACHER TRAINING
a. Materials, supplements, other curriculum elements, supplies 7,886
PUBLIC PROGRAMMING
a. Materials, equipment, supplements, other curriculum elements 12,000
Facilities
a. Other facility costs to execute the programs 12,000
Promotion/Marketing
a. Creation of new website 7,500
b. Promotional and marketing materials 6,944
TOTAL COUNTY FUNDS: $150,000


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