Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Governor Brewer’s pet project has $5,000,000 projected overrun already

At the Senate hearing on the 5C Arizona Centennial Museum bill (HB 2251), the AHS assured the Senate committee they had good solid cost estimates for the $9,000,000 centennial museum. In fact, as noted in the Aug 13th post on this blog, they had only a half page of rough calculations from their east coast designer.

As described in the Nov 5th and Jan 3rd posts, the AHS has a history for over running cost and missing schedules.  Now, history is repeating itself.

The 5C Arizona Centennial Museum has no chance of being open for Arizona’s centennial. None. Nothing has been accomplished in the first year and a half and no one is even pretending that it will open on schedule.   A Centennial Commission presentation to the Fountain Hills Town Council a couple of week ago projects an opening date a year or more after the centennial.

At a Senate JLBC hearing last Friday, the AHS lobbyist told the Senators that the new budget is $14,000,000.  There are rumors of private conversations with Arizona Centennial Board / Foundation members indicating it is actually $15,000,000,

Construction has not started, and the design has not even started.  In fact, a year and a half after planning began fund raising is (supposedly) just starting. No significant funds have been raised to date.

Therefore, the AHS and the Arizona Centennial commission / Foundation team have set a new record for botched program management.

An over fifty percent cost over run before anything even happens.

Quite remarkable.


  1. My God what did Brewer whisper into AHS Director Woosleys ear to get her to do this project??

  2. Obviously, one of those two people initiated this mess. Woosley claims (repeated in AHS board meeting minutes) that the Governor approached the AHS.

    However, the Director was reaching out the Governor Governor just shortly before the centennial museum plot began. Did the Governor and the Director make a deal? See below:

    CALL TO ACTION: Arizona Historical Society Threatened

    Posted on June 7, 2009 by klandon| 1 Comment

    Dear Friends of AHS,

    We are in crisis and need your help now! Governor Brewer released her budget. The Governor’s budget completely eliminates funding for the Arizona Historical Society by phasing out state appropriated dollars over the next five years. If her proposal is approved, the Arizona Historical Society will cease to exist. Please contact her immediately on behalf of the Arizona Historical Society to express your opposition to this provision in her budget.
    The following message should be conveyed in the strongest possible terms by phone, email, or letter:

    Dear Governor Brewer:
    I/We respectfully request that you do not pursue your five year plan to phase out all state appropriated funding for the Arizona Historical Society. To do so will result in the elimination of the Arizona Historical Society that was established by an Act of the First Territorial Legislature in 1864. Instead, we ask that you support the Legislature’s proposal for the Arizona Historical Society’s budget, which reduces funding at more manageable levels and will enable the agency to continue.

    I/We call for your support of our state’s oldest historical agency and its mission that engages, illuminates, educates, and inspires our communities in the rich history that shaped our state and contributes to the quality of life for all Arizonans.
    Please eliminate this proposal from further consideration.
    Thank You
    Anne I. Woosley, Ph. D.
    Executive Director

  3. This is nuts. Spending that kind of money on a museum when we have people who desperately need organ transplants going unfunded by the state. It's disgusting.

  4. Quite right. See the Nov 18th post on this blog for further discussion.