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  Sunday September 14. 2003   Message from the Board About the Region River Runs Through Us Expansion is Needed Project Developed Donations

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12am to 8pm
1pm to 5pm


New Millennium Project Developed


After several years of study, the Museum Board of Trustees, with endorsement and support from the McAllen City Commission and the Junior League of McAllen, is moving forward with plans to expand the Museum into a dynamic family learning center.

the Museum's current location at Nolana and Bicentennial is in a rapidly developing part of McAllen.  It is ideal for expansion, especially with he planned extension of Bicentennial Boulevard more than doubling traffic by the Museum from 40,000 to 100,000 cars daily.

The New Millennium Project, scheduled for groundbreaking in early 2000, includes six major components.

1. Children's Discovery Pavilion
     The growth and development of the children of the Lower Rio Grande Valley are of critical importance to Museum supporters and leaders.  The new 10,000-square-foot Children's Discovery Pavilion is designed to reflect the educational philosophy of the Museum, which holds that learning and the sparking of curiosity occur optimally through play, inquiry, discovery and delight.   It will feature state-of-the-art interactive exhibits and galleries filled with hands-on exhibits for young children.
  • Exhibit Spaces
  • UseMeum Gallery
  • River Lab Gallery
  • Curiosity Factory Gallery
  • Traveling Exhibits Gallery
  • Classroom/Studio Spaces
  • Volunteer Headquarters
  • Covered Activity Patio
  • Plaza Cafe


2.  Welcome Pavilion
     The Welcome Pavilion will be the portal through which Museum visitors enter.  It will feature an admission and information area, a Museum Store filled with educational materials related to the Museum's Mission, a large audio-kinetic or interactive signature sculpture, and the Museum Theater.  The Theater will be a flexible performance space that accommodates 150 to 200 people.  No fixed seats are envisioned, rather a stepped, carpeted series of risers to accommodate student groups and general visitors for orientation, group instruction, lectures, films, and special programs.  Quality sound and lighting systems and a retractable screen are planned.


3.  Museum Plaza
     The Museum Plaza will be the "heart" of the new family learning center.  The Plaza will extend learning through outdoor experiences.  Kinetic sculpture, butterfly and sculpture gardens, shaded picnic areas, and activity spaces will combine to provide an outdoor multipurpose "gallery" for the Museum.  the Plaza and the covered Activity Patio will unite and anchor the Museum, encouraging people to relax and learn in an environment with a variety of contemplative and stimulating spaces.

The Museum Plaza will offer exciting opportunities for members of the community to meet in a pleasant and comfortable setting.  Young parents can arrange play dates and enjoy each other's company while their children explore the Plaza and the Science Playground.


4.  Science Playground
     This outdoor playground, which the Junior League of McAllen is underwriting, will provide opportunities for a full spectrum of activities.  The Museum envisions an educational play space with shaded and open areas in which families can experiment with principles of physics and encounter the natural ecosystems of the Lower Rio Grande Valley.  The playground will be designed and constructed by the community, working with nationally recognized consultants, to create structures that make learning fun.


5.  Renovation of the Current Facility And Its Designation as the Museum's Main Pavilion
     Built in 1976 as a Bicentennial project by the City of McAllen, the current 21,000-square-foot McAllen Museum building has served the area well.  Nearly 750,000 people have visited the current facility since it opened to enjoy exhibits and programs.

Today however, renovation is needed.  The Museum boasts extensive collections of both artworks and science specimens.  The New Millennium Project will expand the Museum's ability to care for and share these collections.  Plans will also enhance current collections with traveling exhibits and long-term loans from the most significant collection in the United States --  The Smithsonian Institution.

The Museum has been named a Smithsonian Affiliations Program participant, a distinction held by selected institutions including the Dallas Museum of Natural History.  Affiliate Institutions may borrow works of art or artifacts from the Smithsonian's vast collection.  This arrangement will allow residents of the Valley to experience some of the nation's finest artistry and craftsmanship without traveling hundreds of miles from home.

The renovated and upgraded Museum facility will feature five galleries.  It will be called the Museum's Main Pavilion.

  • Latin American Gallery
  • Three General Purpose Galleries
  • Hands-on Gallery
  • Collections Care and Storage Center
  • Exhibit Fabrication Shop
  • Other Improvements


6.  Endowment Support
     To help support the operations and programs of the expanded Museum complex, the Board of Trustees seeks support to establish a $2 million endowment.  The Museum now operates with a balanced budget that totals approximately $1 million annually.  Two-thirds comes from earned income, fund-raising events, memberships, and contributions.  The remaining third is support from the City of McAllen.  The additional income generated by an endowment will help to provide expanded and enhanced services.  Endowment income will also contribute to the Museum's long-term financial stability.

The campaign welcomes donations to the Museum's General Endowment Fund, which supports overall operations and programming.  In addition, donations may be made to designated funds for exhibitions, educational programs, acquisitions, and collections conservation.  Endowment may also be given to help support key Museum staff positions.

International Museum of Art & Science
(956) 682-1564
[email protected]