The Arizona Centennial Museum, which was never opened, transfers today to the Arizona Geological Survey, to be reconfigured as the Arizona Mining, Mineral, and Natural Resource Education Museum.
The facility operated for decades as the Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum but was transferred to the Arizona Historical Society in 2010 to be revamped as the "Arizona Experience" museum in celebration of the 2012 Centennial. However, funds were never raised to make the conversion and the museum has been vacant and empty since 2011.
Sen. Gail Griffin spearheaded the drive to transfer the museum to AZGS with the expanded vision. The 26,000 square foot facility was originally built in 1929 as the Masonic Temple. It is a dominant fixture on the State Capitol Mall in Phoenix.
AZGS and AHS are collaborating on the transfer which includes the museum curator becoming an AZGS employee. An inventory of all the museum assets is underway. We expect to renew all of the loans of museum specimens and displays currently in place around the state.
The state Dept. of Administration estimates $700,000 - $900,000 in repairs and updates are needed before building can be reoccupied. AZGS is responsible as the building tenant for all repairs and remodeling.
The legislation transferring the museum also established an Advisory Council to be appointed by the Governor.
The University of Arizona Foundation has set up an account to accept donations for the new museum.
We'll be posting information on how to nominate yourself or others to
the Advisory Council, updates on the museum inventory, progress towards
reopening the building, and plans for the new museum design. A museum
website is in development.