Sunday, July 18, 2010

Why does the Arizona Centennial Museum require an East Coast contractor?

The Arizona Historical Society, which will manage the yet to be built Arizona Centennial Museum, plans to use an out of state sole source contractor for designing and building the museum displays. Approximately five to ten million dollars will be spent on the high technology interactive displays.

First, why are high technology interactive displays required for a museum featuring the 5Cs? How will high tech help students learn about cows, cotton, and citrus? How can they improve on the real citrus trees and the real cotton plants currently a part of the existing 5Cs display and grade school education program at the Mesa Southwest Museum?

However, assuming high tech displays are needed, why is an out of state contractor required? Are not the Phoenix and Tucson metropolitan areas filled with high tech companies and universities? Does the Governor and the Arizona Historical Society have so little confidence in the ability and creativity of Arizonans that they think an out of state contractor is necessary to design exhibits about Arizona? Why would Arizona want to celebrate its’ centennial by admitting that it does not have the skills needed to design and construct centennial exhibits?

Finally, there is the economic consideration. In a very poor economy with high unemployment, why export five to ten million dollars or Arizona money to design and prepare centennial displays? Why not keep that money in Arizona?

The Arizona Centennial Museum should be designed and built by Arizonans.

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