MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science has received a $10 million belated Christmas present.
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has pledged $10 million to the new museum. The announcement was made Wednesday.
The Knight Foundation’s $10-million challenge grant must be matched with an additional $20 million in funding, a requirement meant to encourage additional community support.
The museum’s learning center, a high-tech meeting space for students and community groups, will be named to honor the Knight Foundation’s grant.
The new museum is slated to break ground on Feb. 24, 2012 and open in early 2015.
The adjacent Miami Art Museum is already under construction, forming what supporters hope will become a cultural hub for the area along with the nearby Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.
The Knight Foundation has also given large donations to the art museum and performing arts center.
“Our gift to the science museum, equal in size to an earlier gift to the art museum that will stand by its side, is recognition of the importance of science education and of the museum’s leadership,” said Alberto Ibargüen, president and CEO of Knight Foundation. “Knight’s challenge grant is intended to galvanize support and accelerate the exciting community transformation at Museum Park.”
In addition to supporting the education center at the museum, the grant will also allow hundreds of thousands of Miami-Dade students to visit at least once during elementary and middle school. More visitors will also get to participate in on-site, science-based research activities.
The $10 million pledge brings the private fundraising total to $70 million of a $100 million goal. The rest of the $275 million project is publicly funded.
Designed by the firm of British architect Sir Nicholas Grimshaw, the 250,000 square-foot complex will include hands-on exhibits, a 3-D planetarium and 600,000 gallon aquarium.