The Arizona House Committee on Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources will hold a hearing on Senate Bill 1200 on Monday, March 16, in hearing room HHR1 in Phoenix at 2 p.m.
SB1200 transfers the former Mining and Mineral Museum building and collections to the Arizona Geological Survey to be re-opened as the Mining, Mineral, and Natural Resources Education Museum. The language in the bill is taken almost verbatim from the language establishing the Centennial Museum in 2010 that was never built due to lack of funding. [Right, view of main floor in former Mining & Mineral Museum. Credit, Jan Rasmussen]. The museum was emptied and many exhibits and displays loaned or given away and specimens on loan returned to their owners.
The new museum is expected to include agriculture, livestock, timber, and tourism in addition to the mining and mineral themes from the old museum that was closed in 2010. A advisory council appointed by the Governor, representing all those stakeholder constituencies would oversee development of the new museum concept.
The Senate approved the bill two weeks ago, with a floor amendment exempting AZGS from paying rent on the building for the first year, so that those funds could be used for salaries, operations, maintenance, capital costs to re-open the building, creating displays, and education programs. The museum is expected to be self-supporting after that first year, except for one state-funded curator.