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March 6, 2001

Governor Announces $10 Million in Capital Grants for Public Museum Exhibits and Facilities

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced $10 million in grants to 39 public museums to assist in developing new exhibits and improving museum facilities.

"The Museum Capital Grants Program is providing much-needed support to local initiatives that are strengthening the ability of museums to meet their educational missions," Ryan said. "School children and visitors of all ages will better connect with our historical, natural and cultural heritage thanks to the improvements in museum facilities made possible through this program."

Capital improvement projects will include creation of innovative new state-of-the-art exhibits; renovation and expansion of existing facilities, including buildings of historic significance; and, installation of climate control systems crucial to the proper care of museum collections.

Museums that are operated by or located on land owned by a unit of local government, have at least one paid professional staff person, and have been open to the public for two years are eligible to apply. State grant funds reimburse up to one-third of the cost of capital improvement projects, with the museums providing the balance of the funding through local or private support.

The program, administered by the Department of Natural Resources, received grant requests from 42 museums totaling more than $15 million this year.

For more information, contact the Illinois State Museum Grants Program office at 217/782-5992, or visit the Illinois State Museum website at http:// museums.state.il.us/programs/musgrants.html

A list of grant recipients, funding amounts, and project descriptions is attached.


Adler Planetarium - Chicago - $700,000
Renovation and Expansion Phase III - The project results in an impressive array of new exhibit galleries, rennovation of original Sky Theater, and the new StarRider Theater, an interactive virtual reality experience. (Contact person: Margaret Marek, 312/322-0599).

Art Institute of Chicago - Chicago - $835,000
Allerton Building Renovations Phase III - Project includes the completion of three construction components: redesign of the Michigan Avenue lobby; expansion of the museum's prints and drawings department; and renovation of Fullerton Hall, which is used for educational programming. (Contact person: Robert Mars, 312/443-3511).

Brookfield Zoo - Brookfield - $835,000
Explore! A Child's Nature Phase II - This new exhibit focuses on children through age ten and their parents, with hands-on activities linking children with nature. This phase includes interior exhibit work, landscaping, interpretive signs, perimeter fencing, a new ticketing system, building electricity and fire detection systems, and climate control. (Contact person: George Rabb, 708/485-0263 ext. 300).

Burpee Museum of Natural History - Rockford - $195,000
Geology and Biology Exhibits Phase III - The geology exhibit, in the museum's new Robert Solem Wing, will use state-of-the-art DVD presentations. Also being funded is a biology exhibit featuring three ecosystem dioramas arranged around a mock field station study center with hands-on interactive exhibits. (Contact person: Steve Sjogren, 815/965-3433).

Chicago Botanic Garden - Glencoe - $835,000
Evening Island Phase II - Development includes construction of paths, stairs, walls, a plaza and related landscaping. The naturalistic look of Evening Island will create a transition from the formal gardens of the Main Island to the natural beauty of the prairie exhibit. (Contact person: Barbara Whitney-Carr, 847/835-8225).

Chicago Children's Museum - Chicago - $170,870
Safety Neighborhood Exhibit - This new interactive 1,300-sq. ft. exhibit is designed to suggest the appearance of a house and backyard featuring safety messages and related activities. It will incorporate two tiers of exhibit content with strategies for children and separate information for caregivers. (Contact person: Stacia Whitmore, 312/464-7717).

Chicago Historical Society - Chicago - $557,500
Building Renovation Phase III - This renovation project includes physical plant renovation to enhance protection for the museum's collections; a project in the Needham Galleries that includes development of a new exhibition about Chicago history; and, a project in the Sewell Visitor Center creating a multi-faceted orientation program. (Contact person: Robert Nauert, 312/642-4600 ext. 209).

Children's Discovery Museum - Bloomington - $70,000
Discover This Phase I - This project begins construction of a new museum building. It includes the planning and design of the building, as well as the exhibit design plan for the permanent exhibit galleries. (Contact person: Shari Buckellew, 309/829-6222)

Children's Museum of Illinois - Decatur - $5,660
Exhibits Enhancement and Addition of Safety Features - Funding allows for enhancement of five current exhibits and the rebuilding of one exhibit currently in storage. Also, windows overlooking the first floor lobyy with be modified to ensure visitor safety. (Contact person: Melinda Shaw, 217/423-9179).

Cosley Zoo - Wheaton - $75,000
Master Signage Plan Implementation - The project will provide for new signs for interpretive, identification, directional, regulation and donor recognition within the zoo complex, providing a more meaningful and educational experience for visitors. (Contact person: Jerry Douglas, 630/665-5534).

Crystal Lake Park District Nature Center - Crystal Lake - $11,000
Nature Center Renovation - Renovation includes roof replacement, installation of carpeting over a concrete floor and the addition of decorative sound baffles. (Contact person: Rita Aken, 815/334-0435).

Discovery Center Museum - Rockford - $71,000
Permanent Exhibits Improvement - Project funds will be used for renovation of a 2,500-sq. ft. gallery on the second floor to a new air and flight theme; creation of a new role play mini-airport for the museum's "Tot Spot"; renovation of the TV Studio Gallery; and, refurbishing of the outdoor science park. (Contact person: Sarah Wolf, 815/963-6769).

DuPage County Historical Museum - Wheaton - $89,500
Red Slate Roof and Copper Work Restoration - Grant funds will be used for the replacement of the existing deteriorating asphalt roof with a historically accurate red slate roof and the repair and/or replacement of the exterior copper work to its original condition. (Contact person: Susan Stob, 630/682-7343).

DuSable Museum of African American History - Chicago - $342,500
Existing Building Renovations/Roundhouse Renovation - The project includes restoration of the museums's clay tile roof, balisters, and other architectural details of the administration building; replacement of the skylight; and repairs to the roof of the 1993 addition. Plans also include restoration of the historic roundhouse located nearby. (Contact person: Michelle Bibbs, 773/947-0600 ext. 273).

Early American Museum - Mahomet - $16,950
Prairie Stories Exhibit - Designed to provide an overview of the area's history, the "Prairie Stories" exhibit will expose visitors to the diversity of east central Illinois and introduce them to historical themes explored throughout the museum. The exhibit will be fully integrated into the museum's formal educational programs. (Contact person: Cheryl Kennedy, 217/586-2612).

Ellwood House Museum - DeKalb - $40,000
Site Improvements - This project includes restoration of a 700-ft. cast iron fence; the addition of paved parking spaces for museum visitors and installation of lighting in the parking area; improvements to the museum's public entrance drive and upgrade signs; and, additional design services for all project components. (Contact person: Gerald Brauer, 815/756-4609).

Field Museum - Chicago - $835,000
Central Plant Renovation - Phase II - Infrastructure improvements will be made to the boiler room, including installing new boilers and air handling equipment for more energy efficient climate control. (Contact person: Deborah Bakken, 312/665-7807).

Galena History Museum - Galena - $29,370
Climate Control Project - The project includes replacement of an 80 year old gas-fired boiler and two forced air heating unit, asbestos removal on heating pipes, and window replacement. The project will provide heating and cooling in all areas of the building. (Contact person: Daryl Watson, 815/777-9129).

Klehm Arboretum - Rockford - $35,000
Nancy Olson Children's Garden Improvements - Phase I - Improvements to the Children's Garden will correct drainage problems and improve safety and accesibility. The project will also include additional plants for enhanced botanical science study. (Contact person: Laura Wyatt, 815/965-8146).

Lakeview Museum of Arts and Sciences - Peoria - $7,300
Discovery Center Educational Upgrades - Expansion and improvements to the museum's hands-on learning area will include an additional 400 sq. ft. of space, refurbishing an existing educational program area, new lighting, flooring and children's furniture and an interactive pinscreen wall station exhibit. (Contact person: Julie Lindstrom, 309/686-7000 ext. 30).

Lincoln Memorial Garden and Nature Center - Springfield - $85,000
Nature Center Renovations and Additions - Project includes enlargement of the exhibit room and the addition of extra office and storage space; installation of a new kitchen facility; construction of a new foyer and entrance to the gift shop; renovation of a conference/meeting room; upgrading of the electrical system; new interior finishes for floors and wall; and, fulfilling ADA accessibility requirements. (Contact person: Jim Matheis, 217-529-1111).

Lincoln Park Zoo - Chicago - $835,000
Large Mammal Habitat Renovation - Phase II - The renovation project includes architectural, structural, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing work to allow later installation of exhibits and life support systems for the animals. (Contact person: Paul Nebenzahl, 312/742-2332).

Little White School Museum - Oswego - $7,460
Installation of Accessibility Lifts - The project includes installation of a wheelchair lift to make accessible the museum's display area and lecture hall, and a stair climb lift to make the archives and research area accessible. (Contact person: Roger Matile, 630/554-2999).

Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum - Chicago - $342,500
Building Expansion - Phase III - This project includes flooring and brickwork for new entryway; mounting and wiring of data/communication hardware; installation of elevators; renovation of performing arts space; installation of climate control systems; completion of new exhibit galleries, an interactive gallery, educational space and annex. (Contact person: Aide Rodriguez, 312/738-1503).

Midway Village and Museum Center - Rockford - $75,000
Infrastructure Improvements for Greater Public Access Extension - This phase of the installation of the museum climate control system includes the addition of vapor barriers and associated plumbing and electrical work. (Contact person: David Byrnes, 815/397-9112).

Museum of Science and Industry - Chicago - $835,000
U-505/Ventilation/Security/Abatement - This funding will provide the detailed design and construction planning for permanent enclosure of the U-505 German WWII U-Boat; the replacement of the ventilation system for the main section of the museum; improvements of perimeter protection and surveillance outside the museum; and, the removal of hazardous building materials. (Contact person: Michael Boersma, 773/947-3747).

Naper Settlement - Naperville - $200,000
Martin Mitchell Mansion Restoration - This project involves replacement of the slate roof, restoration of the home's three porches, interior stabilization, conservation and installation of finishing treatments, plumbing improvements, and the addition of historically appropriate landscaping. (Contact person: Debbie Grinnell, 630/305-5259).

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum - Chicago - $342,500
Exhibitions Design and Fabrication Phase III - The project provides for a "City Science" exhibit that includes a partially built bungalow in which utilities are exposed and is designed in a way that shows the home as a micro-ecosystem, including a connection to a solar power energy system located on the roof of the museum. (Contact person: Joseph Shacter, 773/549-0606 ext. 2016).

River Trail Nature Center - Northbrook - $62,500
Nature Center Education Room Addition - A 3,000-sq ft addition to the existing small public space at the nature center will house an open classroom/activity space, a new accessible visitor entrance, and an expanded exhibit and programming area. (Contact person: John Elliott, 847-824-8360).

Riverfront Museum Park - Rockford - $100,000
Fresh Air Capital Project - The project involves modifications to the museum's climate control system to benefit the art museum galleries, classrooms and storage areas. (Contact person: Judy Flach, 815/962-0105).

SciTech - Aurora - $99,500
Building Renovation and Outdoor Science Park Phase II - This project includes construction of the interface between the mezzanine and the building, upgraded lighting and electrical systems, outside landscaping, the development and installation of new interactive exhibits, acoustic treatments, graphics and new signs. (Contact person: Karin Gleason, 630/859-3434 ext. 16).

Scovill Zoo - Decatur - $83,000
Zoo Expansion Project - This project is part of a multi-component plan designed to expand the zoo into available space at Scovill Park by presenting animals in their natural setting and providing more spacious exhibits. (Contact person: Garry Little, 217/422-5911).

Shedd Aquarium - Chicago - $835,000
Ocean Kingdoms - Phase I - The funding is for a new south wing to house a major permanent exhibit which will include one of the aquarium's largest habitats, a 250,000 gallon tank that will be home to 17 species of sharks. This phase of the project will include the initial stages of construction, including demolition, site preparation, excavation and foundation work. (Contact person: Victor Webber, 312/692-3150).

Skokie Heritage Museum - Skokie - $75,000
Archival Storage Unit - Construction of a 1,500-sq. ft. two-story frame structure to be used as an archival storage unit. The project includes installation of shelving and climatic controls in the archival area, as well as installation of conservation/archival material and equipment in a staff work space. (Contact person: Kristina Christie, 847/677-6672 ext. 11).

Smith Museum of Stained Glass - Chicago - $100,000
Stained Glass Installation - Phase II - This phase of the project includes installation of new entrance signs, additional stained glass windows, installation of educational video kiosks and carpeting. (Contact person: Edward Byron Smith Jr, 847/320-2260).

Stephenson County Historical Museum - Freeport - $8,290
Farm and Industrial Museum Improvement Project - This project will provide insulation for the roof and proper sealing around doors in order to provide more energy efficient climate control. (Contact person: Suzy Beggin, 815/232-8419).

Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum - Rockford - $58,000
Tinker Estate Restoration - The project includes the interior finishing of the first and second floors of the reconstructed Tinker Barn for use as classrooms and a reception area for museum visitors; reconstruction of an historic suspension bridge and adjacent gardens and pathways; and, landscaping to buffer the museum from the parking area. (Contact person: Laura Bachelder, 815/964-2424).

Walter E Heller Nature Center - Batavia - $24,600
Andrew Rothchild Environmental Education Program Area - The project adds new environmental education elements to the center's existing school and public programs, including hands-on exhibits and an enhanced outdoor exhibits/programming site. (Contact person: Steve Meyer, 847/433-6901).

Wilmette Historical Museum - Wilmette - $75,000
Museum Building Renovation - The project will provide additional display space, a meeting room for educational programs, collections storage space, and office space for the museum's newly acquired Gross Point Village Hall, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings. (Contact person: Kathy Hussey-Arntson , 847/853-7666).


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