LEGISLATIVE ALERTIAM wants to make you aware of the following issues:
State Suspension of Bonded Grants
Recently, IAM teamed up with Museums in the Park to send a message to our legislators concerning the Museum Public Grants that were frozen in 2015. The letter is below, followed by a list of outstanding grants. Please feel free to adapt the letter and send to your local representatives!
TO: Members of the General Assembly
FROM: Gary Johnson, President, Museums In the Park
Karen Everingham, President, Illinois Association of Museums
DATE: November 28, 2016
RE: Public Museum Suspended Capital Projects
We represent the Illinois Public Museum Community of over 1,200 institutions.
In 2009 the General Assembly passed a major Capital Program that included $50 million for
public museums. This was the first museum capital program since 1999. The money was to be
allocated under existing law and rules by the Department of Natural Resources. The rules
required various amounts of private match, thus growing the Capital Program to nearly $100
In March 2015, the Administration suspended the final $16,491,806 worth of capital grants.
These grants were awarded to 47 public museums statewide. The suspension of already awarded
grants is causing great hardship for many public museums who have expended their award and
are waiting reimbursement. This is particularly true of small organizations with limited private
support. Many museums tapped scarce resources to complete their projects at great sacrifice;
others were stopped mid-construction and await funding for completion.
Earlier this year a draft budget from the Administration (HB6585 and SB3438) was introduced
that restored these suspended grants at the $16,491,806 amount (see attachment). The source of
these funds is Capital Bonds and not General Revenue Funds. As you consider the next
appropriation bill for the State, please consider restoring these suspended grants.
In addition, please consider modifying the rules of reimbursement to allow for more flexibility
for grantees; specifically to allow for reimbursement for costs expended on projects since the March 2015 suspension notices.
If you have any further questions, please contact us.
2014 Illinois Public Museum Capital Grants Programs Awards
• Museum of the Grand Prairie, $238,200 to demolish an existing structure and create a new
climate controlled addition. Total project cost $289,100.
• Virginia Theatre, $750,000 to design, engineer and install house stage lighting, catwalk, light
boxes and sound equipment. Total project cost $750,000.
• Adler Planetarium, $750,000 to help develop a new observation deck including a walkway
access point, LED lighting, guard rails and indoor improvements. Total project cost $1.5
• The Art Institute of Chicago, $750,000 to replace climate control systems, tuckpointing,
waterproofing and a new security system. Total project cost $2.25 million.
• Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, $750,000 to develop, design and construct a new exhibit
and resource center about sustainable living practices and green technology. Total project
• Chicago Botanic Garden, $750,000 for architectural and engineering design work on a new
Education Center. Total project cost $16.3 million.
• Chicago Children¹s Museum, $22,500 to convert gallery space from a permanent exhibit space
to a short run exhibit and educational programming space. Total project cost $45,000.
• Chicago History Museum, $750,000 for gallery renovations including new lighting, acoustics,
restrooms, vestibules, climate control and a lighted floor map. Total project cost $1.25
• Brookfield Zoo, $750,000 for four restroom upgrades. Total project cost $2.25 million.
• DuSable Museum of African American History, $750,000 to enhance the lobby including new
doors, roof repairs, downspouts, flashing, gutters and insulation. Total project cost
• Field Museum of Natural History, $750,000 to purchase and install a new air handling unit and
ductwork to service the southwest quadrant of the museum. Total project cost $2.25
• Garfield Park Conservatory, $750,000 to create a multi-tiered structure with tropical plantings,
interactive seating, an exhibit observation area, nature sorting station, pathways and
³secret spaces.² Total project cost $3.3 million.
• The Grove, Glenview, $80,500 to expand archival storage space including a work space and
teaching area. Total project cost $130,000.
• Historical Society of Oak Park and River Forest, $70,100 for exterior restoration and
rehabilitation of Cicero Firehouse Number 2 that will become the new museum and
history center. Total project cost $291,300.
• Lincoln Park Zoo, $750,000 to help construct an exhibit. Total project cost $3.1 million.
• Museum of Science & Industry, $750,000 to reconstruct the upper and lower portions of the
North Wall of the Central Pavilion. Total project cost $2.25 million.
• Oak Park Observatory, $146,000 to develop an interactive outdoor display garden with
programmed educational experiences. Total project cost $196,000.
• Wildwood Nature Center, Park Ridge, $225,000 for new exhibits and interpretive signs, a new
kiosk and map, ADA accessible trails, and an open air shelter. Total project cost
• Shedd Aquarium, $750,000 to protect and stabilize the building exterior. Total project cost
• Ellwood House Museum, $126,400 to replace the roof and large terrace tile, including
foundation pier rebuilding, tile beds and ADA platform lift. Total project cost $126,400.
• Fischer Farm, Bensenville Park District, $108,200 to restore a pre-Civil War storage barn and
hen house. Total project cost $108,200.
• Downers Grove Park District Museum, $135,000 to restore an Underground Railroad stopover
including interior work and exhibit creation. Total project cost $226,000.
• DuPage Children¹s Museum, $240,200 to develop an active wet area in the Dynamic Tables
exhibit showing the weight and power of moving water to harness energy. Total project
cost $1.29 million.
• Mayslake Peabody Estate, DuPage County Forest Preserve District, $215,000 to restore the
outside back courtyard elevation of Mayslake Hall. Total project cost $525,500.
• Springbrook Nature Center Museum, Itasca, $335,000 to replace three climate control units,
water heater, siding, roofing, insulation, upgrade ADA accessibility and outdoor signs.
Total project cost $487,500.
• Naper Settlement, Naperville, $629,200 to replace the electrical grid on the 12-acre museum
campus. Total project cost $670,700.
• DuPage County Historical Museum, Wheaton, $600,800 to replace roof with accurate red slate
roofing, tuckpointing and copper gutter replacement. Total project cost $625,800.
• City of Grafton Museum. $640,000 to add a 1550-square-foot addition to the existing Visitor
Center. Total project cost $650,000.
• Grand Army of the Republic Memorial, Aurora, $750,000 for cabinetry restoration, woodwork
and floor finishing, partition walls, lighting, climate control and emergency systems.
Total project cost $1.07 million.
• Hickory Knolls Discovery Center, St. Charles, $130,400 to create an indoor/outdoor glacialthemed
exhibit including interpretive kiosks and learning stations. Total project cost
• The Raupp Museum, Buffalo Grove, $51,000 to remove an existing mural and create a store
front exhibit including interactive detailing transportation innovations. Total project cost
• Lake County Discovery Museum, $750,000 to renovate the lower level of an office building to
create permanent storage space for the museum¹s historic collections. Total project cost
• Scovill Zoo, Decatur, $413,700 for a walk-through aviary and crowned crane exhibit, pavilion,
ADA walkway and a generator. Total project cost $463,700.
• Lost Valley Visitor Center, $400,000 to create exhibits for the Visitor Center in the Glacial
Park Conservation Area. Total project cost $400,000.
• Miller Park Zoo, Bloomington, $700,000 for a new DeBrazza¹s Monkey exhibit, renovations
to the zoo¹s Entrance Building and an additional parking lot. Total project cost $720,000.
• McLean County Museum of History, $254,800 to rehabilitate historic lighting systems and
relocate and build new restrooms. Total project cost $254,800.
• Children¹s Discovery Museum, Normal, $116,800 for new floor to ceiling Air Mazes,
Bernoulli Table and Wind Energy Station. Total project cost $124,800.
• Byron Museum of History, $351,400 to remodel the Quonset hut attached to the museum to
provide more exhibit space. Total project cost $401,400.
• Forest Park Nature Center, Peoria, $250,000 for seven interactive exhibits - native animals,
topographical dioramas, bird watching, watershed and hill prairies. Total project cost
Rock Island County
• Quad City Botanical Center, Rock Island, $520,000 to construct the Headwaters component
needed to complete the Mini-Mississippi River exhibit. Total project cost $616,000.
• Stephenson County Historical Society, Freeport, $399,000 to remove and replace existing
artifact storage and display area to include water and sewer service and make it ADA
accessible. The entry drive will also be widened. Total project cost $499,000.
• Hidden Oaks Nature Center, Bolingbrook, $104,500 to construct a wood pavilion with
fireplace, tables and seating. Total project cost $104,500.
• Bird Haven Greenhouse, Joliet, $741,000 to install a glass ceiling, shad cloth and new growing
houses. Total project cost $741,000.
• Isle a la Cache Museum, Forest Preserve District of Will County, $270,000 to renovate and
reconstruct a Native American longhouse, ADA upgrades, garden, campfire circle and
landscaping. Total project cost $270,000.
• Discovery Center Museum, Rockford, $294,000 to replace and refurbish exhibits for ADA
accessibility, and to expand the early childhood gallery. Total project cost $294,000.
• Rockford Art Museum, $369,000 to upgrade storage, handling and prep work. Total project
• Veterans Memorial Hall, Rockford, $251,900 to create and install exhibit cabinetry, repair a
Civil War statue and prepare the site for outdoor monument placement. Total project cost