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Study Shows MOSI Would Benefit By Moving To Downtown Tampa

Mark Schreiner
WUSF 89.7 News
A study released Friday says MOSI would benefit from moving from its current location on Fowler Ave. to downtown Tampa.

According to a feasibility study released Friday, the Museum of Science and Industry would benefit greatly by moving to downtown Tampa.

The 171-page study, which was funded by the museum and Hillsborough County, did not discuss a specific location, size or cost of a new science center, nor possible funding sources.

However, it raised the possibility of a new museum being part of Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik's billion dollar renovation plan for the Channelside District.

The study, which was conducted by Museum Management Consultants and ConsultEcon, projected a 34 percent increase in attendance with a downtown location, as well as growth in repeat visits and annual memberships.

The museum, which is located across the street from the University of South Florida in Tampa, has struggled financially for the last few years.

The study indicates a move would allow them to downsize and improve its financial sustainability, particularly in comparison to its current site, which the study calls "overbuilt."

MOSI officials said the study is just the beginning of its plans for the future, but indicate they have no specific timetable for relocation.

“This study is the first step in looking at the future of MOSI – not just where it will be located, but how it will become a powerhouse in our region’s education ecosystem. MOSI’s broader plan is to serve as a pillar of prosperity in Tampa Bay by driving real-world learning and fostering life-long wonder,” MOSI President and CEO Molly Demeulenaere said.

The board of directors for MOSI will receive a formal presentation from the consultants next Tuesday and then share the findings with the Hillsborough County Commissioners at their meeting the following day.

Mark Schreiner is the assistant news director and intern coordinator for WUSF News.