Science center plan

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This letter is in response to coverage of the feasibility study for the proposed renovation and expansion project at Carnegie Science Center. To state that the plan “stumbles out of the gate” is misleading (“Science Center Plan Stumbles Out of the Gate,” Feb. 18). Despite obtaining a copy of the report and interviewing the co-directors of the science center about it, the Post-Gazette decided to focus almost exclusively on its less-than-favorable findings when the firm that performed the analysis states that it considered it to be “both a positive and encouraging report.”

Among the encouraging findings: The science center’s leadership team is highly regarded and the science center is viewed as a regional leader in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. Most participants interviewed for the study believe in the case for support, including the corporate community, and agree that the science center must move forward with its comprehensive plan.

In this economic environment, fundraising is difficult and the feasibility study highlighted challenges that are not at all unusual. Potential funders don’t always readily commit to a specific level of support; rather they may be stewarded as the project comes to life. The science center followed industrywide best practices in completing a feasibility study of the proposed project. This preliminary study was designed to glean information from key community stakeholders about what’s achievable through fundraising, and leadership will continue to heed its findings in strategically moving the proposal forward. As was reported, many key supporters, along with museum leadership, remain enthusiastic and confident about the proposed project.

JANE KIRKLAND
Chair, Carnegie Science Center Board
North Shore

LEE FOSTER
Chair, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh Trustees
Oakland

 


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