Strategic upgrades and enhancements will significantly increase Museum’s capacity to serve Northeast Florida residents and visitors
Leaders from the Museum of Science & History (MOSH) today announced plans to renovate and expand the Museum’s campus and capacity. The proposed changes are projected to more than double the number of people the Museum can serve annually, from 229,239 in 2017 to an estimated 468,000 by 2023, while positioning the institution as a public gathering space for lifelong learning and experiential education.
Plans include an expansion of the Museum’s total square footage from 77,000 square feet to 120,000 square feet; reorienting the Museum’s entryway toward the St. Johns River; and enhancing the Museum’s range and capacities for exhibits, installations, programming, educational alignment and immersive experiences with new and emerging technologies. The Museum’s status as a regional destination on the Southbank of Downtown Jacksonville is amplified by the project.
Concepts for the master plan were developed through a series of four independent, community-based studies over the past six years that revealed a high degree of consensus for large-scale improvements to the Museum’s current campus and facility. Museum leaders incorporated feedback from more than 250 people, including donors, businesses and corporations, foundations, community leaders and elected officials.
“Northeast Florida deserves a world-class destination where lifelong learning is celebrated and energized,” said Maria Hane, MOSH President. “As a fixture on the Southbank of Downtown, MOSH is in a perfect position to transform our riverfront with an iconic campus where science, culture and innovation come together. Our plans will support Downtown development, bolster regional tourism and allow our children to develop the skills to succeed in the modern, 21st-century workforce.”
Improvements to the visitor experience will include a café on the park; a rooftop conference center and event space; and Maker Spaces and innovation labs. Exhibition areas will increase by 200 percent and showcase Northeast Florida’s cultural, natural and innovation ecosystems. Interactive displays, such as the River Table and simulated aquifer system, will provide guests with experiential learning opportunities. The plans will integrate indoor and outdoor settings to create a seamless campus experience between the Museum, St. Johns River Park and Friendship Fountain and the Southbank Riverwalk. Upon completion, these updates will position MOSH within a wellness corridor in Downtown’s Southbank that begins at Baptist Health and ends at The District.
The total anticipated cost of the renovation and expansion project is $80 million. MOSH leaders will seek a combination of public and private revenue streams, with the goal of raising $20 million in community support from individuals, businesses and corporations, foundations and other community stakeholders. To support that goal, the Museum launched a capital campaign called MOSH 2.0: Expanding the Capacity to Inspire Innovation in January. The plans will fundamentally sustain the organization and firmly establish MOSH as a civic and cultural flagship.
For additional information about MOSH 2.0, visit http://themosh.org/mosh2-0/.
About the Museum of Science & History (MOSH):
The Museum of Science & History (MOSH) is located at 1025 Museum Circle near Friendship Park. MOSH, first chartered in 1941, inspires the joy of lifelong learning by bringing to life the sciences and regional history. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday – Thursday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday; and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $15 for adults; $12 for youth, students, active and retired military and seniors. There is no admission fee for children 2 and under or Museum members. Learn more at www.themosh.org.