By Grayson Kamm
Launching a project that will create an iconic institution and a beacon for learning in Tampa’s cultural core, the Museum of Science & Industry’s (MOSI) board of directors voted Tuesday to begin planning to relocate and reinvent MOSI in a new home in Downtown Tampa.
The vote follows the board’s review of a feasibility study that projects promising attendance and finances in a new location, as well as pledges of support from key partners in Hillsborough County and Strategic Property Partners, the group leading the effort to redevelop the area around Amalie Arena.
A new facility presents a path to fiscal sustainability for MOSI, and that sustainability will power its vital, unique blend of fun and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) learning for generations to come.
MOSI will now bring together a task force of community partners, land use experts, philanthropists, museum master planners, scientists, and educators to lead the relocation and reinvention of the science center.
As a veteran of multiple projects to design and build major new hospitals, MOSI Board Chair Mike Schultz, president and CEO of Florida Hospital’s West Florida Region, will lead the task force.
“We are going to work with the best and brightest minds available to truly reinvent MOSI and its role in our community,” Schultz said.
In addition, MOSI will take these next steps: Launch a strategic planning process to chart the future of MOSI as a reinvented, vibrant, future-focused science center, lead community conversations to discover what the people of Tampa Bay want from their new, innovative institution, and engage a specialized team of professionals to begin the design, planning, and fundraising for a world-class science center.
The planning effort is expected to take up to a year and will identify the features, exhibits, and programs offered in a new science center; an exact location and size; and the costs and funding sources involved.
“Our planners will be seeking out innovative designs and exciting ways to touch the future. And we’ll also be elevating key elements of MOSI’s existing programs – exploring space, understanding health sciences, and connecting with tomorrow,” said MOSI President and CEO Molly Demeulenaere. “In the year ahead, MOSI will move from a focus on being the largest science center in the Southeast to becoming one of the finest in North America.” Visit www.mosi.org.