ROCHESTER, NY—The Rochester Museum & Science Center (RMSC) was awarded $1 million from the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council to help fund the next phase of planning and construction of a 4,000-square-foot Gateway to Optics and Science building between its Science Museum and Strasenburgh Planetarium, and an additional $50,695 for trail enhancements at its Cumming Nature Center (CNC).
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and state officials announced the awards in Albany on December 13, 2017. In all, $755 million in economic and community development funding was awarded through Round VII of the Regional Economic Development Council initiative; $63.9 million was awarded in the Finger Lakes region.
“We are extremely grateful to New York State for this generous award,” said Kate Bennett, RMSC CEO. “RMSC is poised to make a transformational investment in our capacity to support our community and region. This grant will allow us to connect two iconic buildings on our East Avenue campus, enhance visitor experience, and provide additional access to informal education in the emerging fields of optics and photonics.”
RMSC’s Gateway to Optics and Science building will be a progressively designed, environmentally sensitive building featuring two stories of energy-efficient, floor-to-ceiling glass walls, an open lobby, and new welcome desk. The building will create a unified point of entry between the Science Museum and Strasenburgh Planetarium, add square footage to showcase striking exhibits, and serve as an event venue and community gathering place.
“This award allows the Cumming Nature Center to expand its mission of building community around outdoor recreation through participation and education,” said Nathan Hayes, director, RMSC Cumming Nature Center. “This grant will also position the Nature Center to connect with other publicly available land parcels in the region, which is particularly exciting to our team and area outdoor enthusiasts.”
The CNC award will allow the RMSC to refurbish trail systems, repair existing trailside structures, and purchase upgraded trail grooming equipment. These enhancements will impact visitors by improving security and safety as they explore remote, distinct areas of the 900-acre Nature Center property.
Rochester Museum & Science Center (RMSC) includes the Science Museum, Strasenburgh Planetarium and Cumming Nature Center. Offering experiences at the Museum with more than 200 interactive exhibits, Planetarium with a 65-foot dome and Nature Center on 900 acres, the RMSC stimulates community interest in exploration. In addition, the more than 1.2 million RMSC collection items tell the story of Rochester’s past including its rich history of innovation and invention. RMSC receives major funding from Monroe County, where it is one of the top three most visited attractions serving children and families. For more information about RMSC, visit https://rmsc.org. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.