Friday, May 20, 2016

Mineral museum transfer will occur in August

The former Mining & Mineral Museum in Phoenix will transfer to the Arizona Geological Survey sometime in August.  A proviso in SB1530, the Agency Consolidation bill, called for it to be retroactive to May 1, but it failed to include the emergency statute that would allow that.

We also got a 65-page preliminary Facility Assessment  prepared for the Dept. of Administration describing in detail the status and requirements for opening the building.

The conclusion is that the building will needs ~$700K in priority 1 remodels and repairs (which is close to the estimates made in 2014) and perhaps another $200K is the flooring on the main floor needs to be replaced.    Over 5 years, they identify a total of $2.86 million to make the building like new.   (it was built in 1921).

At present, the building cannot be occupied.

However, we are able to store materials there, and we plan on moving the extensive mining files and library from our Phoenix branch there in the next 10 days.  We have to vacate our current office which is commercial space sublet from AZ Dept. of Water Resources by May 30.  In addition, AZGS is being transferred to the University of Arizona which has no space available in Phoenix for our operations.

Similarly, UA has little or no storage space on campus for our Tucson office.  So we are looking at moving files, library materials, and cores to the museum in order to preserve them.  Otherwise, they would all be disposed.


  1. Anonymous7:00 AM

    A few questions for you.

    1. At the moment the building cannot be occupied. If one wants to access the maps , mine files, have minerals and their compositions identified or have some technical questions answered when do you think the building and personnel will be available? Not everything can be done on-line.

    2.The rent for the last several years has been $428K per year. I am assuming that all of that rent was returned each year by AHS as all agencies do that. The state has had to pay no electric, water, cleaning personnel and /or fix any damage that has occurred to the building during the 5 year period it has been shuttered. One could assume that the state used that money for other cost in other agencies. They have not spent any money of the $2M rent allocated during this time towards the old AZMMM. Will they fix problems in the building that have occurred and probably multiplied because of a lack of occupancy of the building? They would have been told of small leaks,etc that have now become worse due to lack of notification of the fact.

    I would expect the state to fix structural problems, but that you would be responsible for raising money for new exhibits. Maybe I am wrong in my assessment on what the state is responsible for.

    3. The solar panels on the roof have been producing electricity for several years now and the museum has not used any. That electricity goes back into the grid and the state is given credit for that, and again I assume.

    4. What funds are you responsible for in raising and what will the state perform at their expense in fixing any problems? I am sure at the moment you are quite overwhelmed and cannot answer all these questions, but a few answers would be helpful for those who would like to use AZGS services and museum supporters.

  2. In response:
    1. Our files, cores, and library materials are going into the museum as dead storage until we can get the building opened. The alternative is to dispose of them. UA has no space in Phoenix for us, and only limited space on campus in Tucson. We cannot predict when or if we will be able to open the museum and make the files accessible.

    2. The appropriation includes rent ($360K) and the cost of the curator ($68K). The rent is paid each year to the Dept. of Administration (ADOA). It does not go into any kind of account that we can draw on for repairs, remodel, or operation.

    ADOA will not pay for the repairs, upgrades, or remodel, including not repairs to the parking lot behind the building which is used by visitors and employees in other buildings. All the costs must be borne by us, the tenants.

    3. There is no utility credit coming to AZGS for any electricity produced by the solar panels.

    4. We are responsible for raising 100% of the funds beyond the rent payment.

  3. 1) What remains of the old display cases and cabinets, lobby desk etc. Are they to be returned or are they still inside?
    2) Is the entire building uninhabitable prior to the $700K repairs or are some parts deemed safe?
    3) Is a listing/breakdown of the $700K required repairs and their attendant cost available to the public?
    4) Will meetings be held, that are open to the public, about the reopening of the Museum?

  4. 1) What remains of the old Museum infrastructure (cabinets, display cases, front lobby desk etc?)
    2) Is a breakdown of the $700K in needed repairs available to the public? If so, how is it obtained?
    3) Will meetings held regarding the Museum's reopening be open to the public? If so, how will meeting info be made available?
    4) Is the entire bldg. deemed uninhabitable prior to the $700K repairs, or is a portion deemed safe?

  5. Deanna, in response:
    1. we have not seen display cases etc during our tour of the building last week. Some things are stored at the outside yard nearby, some things are distributed around the state. AHS has to provide us an inventory of museum assets and their location. The Front Lobby Desk is in place.

    2. We will ask if the Facilities Assessment can be released. I hope we can set up a museum web page but frankly we are scrambling to deal with the Survey having to vacate our Phoenix space in 10 days and our main office in Tucson by June 30.

    3. We have not made any plans yet. We only met with UA officials a couple days ago to hear what their plans are regarding the transfer and move of the Survey. The museum is on the backburner until those immediate issues are dealt with.

    4. we asked the same question and are waiting on a response from ADOA.

  6. I have just confirmed that the Facilities Report we saw is very much a preliminary version and not ready for release. It was a courtesy for us to see it to help us and the university understand the nature and extent of issues facing the reopening of the museum because of the decisions we have to make immediately about housing staff and physical assets.