MIAMI—The foundation is complete. Vertical construction is underway. The Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science is set to open in 2015. When it does, it will mark the capstone of Downtown Miami’s new Museum Park complex.
“Miami is an international destination and for the first time in the city’s history, there will be a dedicated science museum at the heart of its downtown,” says Miami Science Museum president and CEO Gillian Thomas. The museum is expected to draw more than 700,000 visitors to Miami during its first year of opening, and an additional 600,000 visitors on an ongoing annual basis going forward.
Private sector support for the project—which is expected to serve as a cultural destination and economic engine in the city’s urban core—is growing. The museum has secured more than $70 million of its $100 million private fundraising goal, which complements Miami-Dade County’s $165 million funding.
The Museum is also winning corporate support. American Express, AT&T, Best Buy, Cordis Corporation, Florida Power & Light Company, IBM, JP Morgan Chase, Northern Trust, Ryder Systems, Sabadell Bank United, Steiner Leisure, Ltd., State Farm, and Wells Fargo have all provided grants for educational programs and events.
The 35-month construction period will employ upwards of 400 workers, with an average of 150 crew members on site at any given time. Following construction, the ongoing annual economic impact to the county is estimated at $95.4 million with a total of 914 jobs created.
The 250,000 square-foot complex promises to be among the world’s most innovative and sustainable science museums. The building will harness energy from water, sun, wind and even museum visitors to power exhibits and conserve resources. The Museum will be structured around a lushly landscaped indoor and outdoor “living core” of terrestrial and aquatic environments, featuring an aquarium experience totaling over 600,000 gallons, a full dome planetarium, interactive exhibits, innovative technology and two additional wings of exhibition space, learning center, and cafes.