FARGO – A private local organization donated $ 225,000 to the Fargo-Moorhead Science Museum’s effort, which was the first big boost in its efforts to develop the facility.
The organization wanted to remain anonymous, but FMSM’s board chairman Ken Brazerol said the funds will allow the project to begin the search for an executive director and kick off the planning phase of a campaign. fundraising to develop the facility.
On top of that, he said the group plans to announce an even bigger giveaway of $ 1 million next week that will help push the effort further forward. He said the name of this donor will be public.
Brazerol, who works for the digital mapping company called Here Technologies of Chicago, said the executive director will provide day-to-day leadership and coordination as planning progresses.
The group is also focusing on raising even more funds for the museum and choosing a location.
Brazerol said they have had “great conversations” with the cities about possible locations.
Options include retrofitting an existing building or designing and constructing a new structure. The group is working with JLG Architects on a site survey because they said they want to “get it right the first time.”
The museum would be a place for children and adults to explore and engage in science, technology, engineering, and math, collectively known as STEM. The aim is to present interactive exhibitions and programs that promote scientific culture.
Topics covered would examine the region’s natural history, from Ice Age fossils at glacial Lake Agassiz to the soils of the Red River Valley. A mobile outreach unit or classroom is also a hope of the group.
“I think this museum will be a great addition to the community,” said Brazerol.
“It will be a great place for families in the winter,” he said as temperatures were well below zero last week.
The FMSM’s board of directors, besides Brazerol, includes several instructors from North Dakota State University who Brazerol says will bring “real expertise” to the operation. These include Museum Founder, Past Chair and Geology Lecturer Jessie Rock, Chair of the Department of Geosciences and Associate Professor Stephanie Day and Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and Director of the STEM Education Doctorate Jenni Momsen.
Other members of the board are Butler Machinery Co. Marketing Director Jodi Phillips, New Leaf Hospitality Director Bobbi Bricker, and Wheeler McCartney Real Estate Law Firm Director Gwen McCartney.