Thursday, August 6, 2015

$2.1 million hoax

In 2014, the Legislature directed the AHS to estimate how much it would cost to reopen the mineral museum. Prior posts reported that the AHS and DOA (Department of Administration) told the Legislature that it would cost $2.1 million to reopen the mineral museum. That number has been widely reported in the media, and the DOA has reportedly claimed that there are no discretionary items in that number. According to a Dec 18th DOA letter to the Joint Legislative budget Committee, the first level breakdown of the $2.1 million dollar estimate is as follows:

Exhibits and Operating Space
Exhibits Space Reconfiguration                              $230,000
Technology and Multimedia improvements           $175,000
Gift Store Equipment                                                $15,000
Classroom upgrades                                                  $10,000
Collection storage upgrades                                    $100,000

Major Building System Upgrades
Demo and Interior Finishes                                    $450,000
Mechanical System Upgrades                                $200,000
Electrical Upgrades                                                $275,000
Fire Alarm Upgrades                                                $84,000
Fire Sprinkler Upgrades                                          $56,000
Exterior Upgrades                                                    $78,000
ADA Upgrades                                                      $100,000

Other Construction
Construction Contingency                                     $177,300
Hazardous Material Abatement                               $20,000
Design Fees                                                            $150,000

Total                                                                    $2,120,300

Perhaps the fire sprinklers and fire alarms should be upgraded before the building is reoccupied. But how many of the other upgrades necessary to simply reopen a functioning mineral museum?

Why is $150,000 of design work necessary?  Why must the interior of the exhibit space be reconfigured for $230,000?

Is $15,000 of gift store equipment needed because the AHS threw out existing equipment that was in an operating gift shop?

How much of the $2.1 million is really necessary to reopen the mineral museum? Is the AHS trying to resuscitate their posh Centennial Museum under another name?


  1. AHS was asked by the JLBC to submit proposals for how they intended to use the MMM building which has been empty for 4 years, They submitted several proposals done with DOA and a consulting firm. All proposals required the State to provide 2+million to remodel the building. The 2+ million is now being attached to efforts to simply reopen the MMM which was successfully using the building as it is. Several people who have seen the inside have reported that it is just as it was. If needed, to convince the powers that be that the building does not need to be remodeled to get the MMM back, an additional study/proposal needs to be done with AHS and their fancy, upscale, expensive and unnecessary projects out of the picture. We need to understand that the building belongs to the people of AZ and should be reassigned to an agency that can use it efficiently as it was in the past.

    1. You should not be shocked Ann Woosley blew $1,400,000 for just some paper plans for her Rio Nuevo Museum that never got built. At least she is in character!