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January 19, 2016

Fundraising Shortfall Delays Completion of Miami Museum

The Frost Museum of Science in Miami has run out of money for the construction of its new location in the city's downtown, The Miami Herald reports.

Miami-Dade has spent nearly all of the $160 million it set aside for construction, but the because of a fundraising shortfall, the museum hasn't been able to get a construction loan to finish the $275 million project, which had been scheduled to open in ten months.

The museum was renamed after Patricia and Phillip Frost, who made pledges totaling $45 million. Other major donors include the Knight Foundation, which contributed $10 million, and board of trustees co-chairs Daniel and Trish Bell, who have pledged $7 million.

The museum might still open on time if a proposal by Miami Mayor Carlos Gimenez is approved by the Miami-Dade County Commission. The plan would convert a $4 million annual operating subsidy drawn from hotel and convention tax revenue into an upfront construction payment of $45 million. In exchange, the museum would have to agree not to ask for operating support for the next 20 years and to restructure its board to include seats for county and city  administrators and elected officials.