press & News

RMSC’s Campaign for Innovation Celebrates a Milestone

    On December 1, the RMSC celebrated the completion of a major project within their Campaign for Innovation–the new Wonders of Water exhibit. Major exhibit donors Victor & Eileen Salerno and Walter & Barbara Parkes ceremoniously broke “champagne” bottles on the deck of a replica of the USS Scourge as campaign chairs Alexis Vogt and John Carver showered the crowd with confetti in celebration. This event marked the first official public announcement of the campaign.

    The $6.5 million raised of the $10 million campaign has allowed the RMSC to renovate classrooms and labs, add an elevator and complete infrastructure upgrades at the RMSC Cumming Nature Center, update the RMSC Strasenburgh Planetarium Star Theater, and enrich the Planetarium lobby with interactive science and cultural exhibits. 

    “We needed to transform the RMSC to become increasingly interactive with new technologies that are rapidly being developed,” said Jon Carver, Capital Campaign Honorary Co-chair. “We wanted to improve our capabilities by improving accessibility and teaching STEM education. In order to achieve these goals, we needed additional capital.”

    The final stretch of this campaign aims to build an accessible treehouse village at the RMSC Cumming Nature Center. The accessible treehouse village, connected with paths, interactive elements,, nets, and covered “pods” for nature viewing and programming, will have a whimsical magnetism that pulls visitors from one adventurous experience to another, bringing them further into nature as they go. The CNC Treehouse Village will instill a sense of wonder and appreciation for the natural world, strengthen gross motor skills, and connect people with nature in a welcoming and fun way. The structure will be built around the existing trees at the Center and has been designed by the renowned architectural group Treetop Builders, to allow trees to grow and not be harmed by the structure.

    “At the Nature Center, we’ve always wanted to push forward and be a thought leader in nature exploration and experiences, and something like this will help us do that and offer a birds-eye level of education that we haven’t been able to offer so far”, said Nathan Hayes, Director of the RMSC Cumming Nature Center.

    Museums, Planetariums, and nature centers are an essential part of a thriving community and these upgrades and renovations will ensure that the RMSC continues its long history as one of the community’s premier cultural institutions. As the Rochester community evolves, the RMSC will be a powerful force for creating new economic opportunities and cultural understanding.

    “We are incredibly fortunate to have wonderful supporters, but now is the time we need everyone who values the RMSC, our community, and our youth to step up and support this incredible treasure,” said Alexis Vogt, Campaign for Innovation Co-chair. “The RMSC has a wonderful opportunity ahead of us. We now need everyone’s support to close this capital campaign so that the RMSC can continue to inspire a better future for all” 

    To learn more about the campaign, please visit here.