On Friday, 28 April 2017, Gov. Doug Ducey signed SB1415 transferring the Polly Rosenbaum Bldg. and the physical assets of the former Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum (AMMM) to the University of Arizona (UA).
We thank Senator Gail Griffin for championing a natural resources museum on the Government Mall. Sen. Griffin introduced and shepherded SB1415 through the Arizona Legislature and into Gov. Ducey’s hands. Thanks, too, to the organizers of the Earth Science Museum and to the former volunteers of the AMMM for tenaciously supporting reopening a museum dedicated to educating Arizona’s school children.
The assets of the AMMM were managed by the Arizona Historical Society from May 2011 through Aug. 2016, and the ~ 22,000 mineral specimens making up the AMMM collection will remain in storage at the Historical Society’s Heritage Center in Tempe until the UA is ready to receive them.
Transferring the AMMM assets to the UA is a major step forward in re-establishing a museum presence on the Capitol Mall in Phoenix. The planned new Arizona Mining, Mineral and Natural Resources Education Museum has a broader scope and mission than the former AMMM, with the objective of showcasing the natural resources of Arizona and educating its people about the importance of these resources.
There is much work to be done. The museum building requires an estimated $2- to $3-million in repairs and refurbishment. Designing and building a state-of-the-art natural resources science museum will probably cost $5-6 million dollars. (Modern science museums typically run ~ $350 per square foot for design and exhibits.) Considering the magnitude of the task, we do not know how long it will be before the museum reopens to the public.
Our next step here at the Arizona Geological Survey is to work within the framework that will be established by the UA Central Administration to build out the conceptual and physical framework for the Arizona Mining, Mineral and Natural Resources Education Museum.