Rochester Museum & Science Center recently received $1 million from Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council to help fund the planning and construction of a 4,000 square foot Gateway to Optics and Science Building, and an additional $50,695 for trail enhancements at Cumming Nature Center.
In all, $755 million in economic and community development funding was awarded through Round VII of the REDC initiative; $63.9 million was awarded in the Finger Lakes region.
“We are extremely grateful to New York state for this generous award,” said Kate Bennett, CEO of RMSC. “RMSC is poised to make a transformational investment in our capacity to support our community and region. This grant will allow us to connect two iconic buildings on our East Avenue campus, enhance visitor experience and provide additional access to informal education in the emerging fields of optics and photonics.”
RMSC’s Gateway to Optics and Science Building will be a progressively designed, environmentally sensitive building featuring two stories of energy efficient, floor-to-ceiling glass walls; an open lobby; and new welcome desk. The building will create a unified point of entry between RMSC and Strasenburgh Planetarium, add square footage to showcase exhibits and serve as an event venue and community gathering place.
“This award allows the Cumming Nature Center to expand its mission of building community around outdoor recreation through participation and education,” said Nathan Hayes, CNC director. “This grant will also position the nature center to connect with other publicly available land parcels in the region, which is particularly exciting to our team and area outdoor enthusiasts.”
The CNC award will allow RMSC to refurbish trail systems, repair existing trailside structures and purchase upgraded trail grooming equipment. These enhancements will impact visitors by improving security and safety as they explore remote, distinct areas of the 900-acre nature center property.