A state grant of half-a-million dollars announced Wednesday will ward off problems that threatened to close or damage parts of Syracuse’s Museum of Science and Technology. MOST President Lauren Kochian has been struggling to make repairs to the 112-year-old Armory that houses the museum.
Faulty and inefficient boilers and repairs to the building’s exterior are among the needs. But a failing roof threatened to damage some of the museum’s exhibits.
"We got to a point where we really... if we didn't address them, they were going to become monstrous problems that could've even led to having to close off exhibits. We were really at a crossroads. And what this funding has done is given us the opportunity to get those really important repairs made so that we can move forward."
Kochian adds without these repairs many of the problems would have become much bigger. The state grant was secured in part by Assembly Member Bill Magnarelli. He recalls taking his children there decades ago; and believes the taxpayer dollars are well-spent.
"We have tons of children coming through this building again, and the STEM education that is going on in this building is critically important to what we're trying to do with education throughout central New York and particularly here in the city of Syracuse," Magnarelli says.
MOST does more than just educate children, though. Magnarelli points out that its programs and exhibits offer lessons for all ages. Additionally, it is a common destination for people visiting Armory Square, which is also home to many small businesses and is a popular area to live in the city.
He notes state grant funding has helped other iconic downtown buildings, such as the State Tower Building, Hotel Syracuse, and The Landmark Theater. Both Magnarelli and Kochian suggest the Armory Building and the MOST are important to downtown’s revitalization. Outside repair and painting, as well as roof work has already started to help the museum get through winter without any damage.