The contract with the for-profit company that runs the American Museum of Science and Energy will change from quarterly to monthly starting Jan. 1, and a museum expert could be hired on an interim basis to assess the museum, its place in the community, and a logical new operating structure.
The museum is now funded by the U.S. Department of Energy at a cost of about $1.5 to $1.6 million per year, said David Keim, communications director at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Revenues from the gift shop, admissions, and programs add up to about $300,000 per year.
But officials have long said that the department should not be operating the museum.
“It’s always been a government-funded operation,” Keim said. But, “DOE is not in the museum business.”
In June, a group of museum directors brought to Oak Ridge from around the country recommended that the museum be run by a community-based nonprofit organization—not DOE and not a for-profit company, Keim said. [Read more…]