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Meeting of the Board of Regents | October 2008

Thursday, October 2, 2008 - 11:00pm

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Jeffrey Cannell


Museum Gallery Renewal and Stewardship Collections Facility



October 2, 2008



4, 5






Issue for Discussion


Update on activities related to the Gallery renewal and the Stewardship Facility.


Proposed Handling


The Regents Cultural Education Committee will oversee the renewal of the Museum galleries and report periodically to the full Board. The Committee will also make recommendations on the renewal of the Museum to the Cultural Education Fund Board of Trustees.


Procedural History


The last Museum master plan for exhibitions was presented to the Regents in 1999 and progress toward implementation was reported periodically to the Cultural Education Committee and to the full Board. The selection of an exhibition planning and design firm was completed in early 2006.


Background Information


The Museum has proposed three new galleries:  Empire State: America Begins inNew York;Changes: A Billion Years of the Natural History of New York and the completion of the existing gallery Native Peoples of New York. The Cultural Education Trust Board approved moving forward to utilize $20 million initially included in the 2006-2007 budget to complete the gallery renewal. Gallagher and Associates is working with the Museum, Archives and Library staff in addition to external content and exhibition experts to develop these major new exhibitions telling the human and natural history of New York. A new master plan for the Museum galleries has been completed and the Museum is nearing completion of design development for both the Natural History and History Galleries.


The Office of Cultural Education is also working closely on the initial stages for procurement of land for the new Stewardship Facility.  In last year’s executive budget, an additional $60 million capital funding was made available for the construction of a new Stewardship Facility. The $60 million capital appropriation will initiate the first phase of construction of a multi-phased approach to re-house our collections and eventually our research labs.


The 2006-2007 budget included $20 million to make the collections of the Museum, Archives and Library more accessible. The 2008-2009 budget makes the funds available as a mix of capital ($15 million) and CE Fund ($5 million). Bonding the capital funds is proceeding through the Dormitory Authority. Bonding is expected to occur through the Personal Income Tax bonds which will require fees of about $2.25 million. Discussions with the Division of Budget have taken place to resolve the resulting budget shortfall for the gallery renewal.


The Cultural Education Trust Board has been established. The Board includes two Regents. The Commissioner has appointed Regent Joseph E. Bowman Jr. and Regent James C. Dawson will serve as Chair in place of the Chancellor.  The Governor has appointed John Egan and the Senate Majority Leader has appointed Professor Jeffrey Kraus.  Assemblyman Jack McEneny was appointed by the Assembly.


The Cultural Education Trust Board met June 13, 2008 and approved moving forward with the gallery renewal. They also recommended additional evaluation of proposed sites for the collection facility.  The Board also met on September 29, 2008.




Recommend endorsement of the overall direction and scope of the Museum gallery renewals and stewardship facility plan.


Timetable for Implementation


Gallery Renewal:

Museum Gallery Master Plan: Complete in December 2007

Natural History Gallery opens May 2010

Native Peoples of New York Expansion opens June 2010

The Empire State opens July 2010