The Denver Museum of Nature & Science has received a series of grants totaling $3.75 million from the Avenir Foundation in support of the Museum's new Collections Conservation Center, currently under construction. The funds will also provide critical funding for long-term collections conservation. The Avenir Foundation supports educational, arts, and cultural activities.
The Conservation Center is part of the larger Rocky Mountain Science Collections Center, which will provide a consolidated and climate controlled home for the Museum's 1.4 million specimens and artifacts. The state-of-the-art facility will reach the highest standards for collections acquisition, care, preservation, and research-positioning the Museum as a global leader in collections stewardship.
"This generous gift ensures that the stories, science, and wonder inherent in these natural and cultural artifacts will endure for future generations," said George Sparks, President and CEO of the Museum. "We are very grateful to the Avenir Foundation."
The Rocky Mountain Science Collections Center is part of the Education and Collections Facility, a 126,000-square-foot addition to the Museum that broke ground on September 13, 2011. The Education and Collections Facility will also feature a dedicated, interactive science center for preschoolers, new classrooms and education programs for 21st-century schoolchildren, and additional space for engaging public programs and world-class temporary exhibitions. It is scheduled to open in 2014.
The facility is funded through a combination of private fundraising and $30 million in Better Denver bonds, approved by voters in 2007. In addition to the Better Denver funds and thanks to the lead gift of $8 million from the Morgridge Family Foundation, the Museum has raised another $22.5 million toward this project.