Las Vegas Sun

October 19, 2019

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Nevada museums receive a financial boost

Frog Habitat At Springs Preserve

Steve Marcus

Informational signs are shown at Cottonwood Grove in the Las Vegas Springs Preserve Tuesday, May 21, 2019.

This year’s session of the Nevada Legislature was a good one for local museums and cultural institutions.

Assembly Bill 84 gives Springs Preserve the ability to use up to $30 million in funding to develop new exhibits as well as enhance and preserve wildlife habitats and infrastructure, according to Bronson L. Mack, a representative for Springs Preserve. The funds will be allocated by the Nevada Legislature in future years.

Another $3 million, from Senate Bill 501, will help Springs Preserve develop a “new science and sustainability educational center and update some of the existing exhibits in the current Sustainability Gallery,” Mack said by email.

That same bill also gives $1 million to the Atomic Testing Museum to plan for a possible relocation. “We’re a victim of our own success,” says executive director Michael Hall. “So many people are coming to the museum that we’re running out of space.”

Another $30 million will be allocated to the Division of Museums and History, part of the Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs. The Nevada State Railroad Museum-Boulder City will be a huge beneficiary, using the funds for a large and long-awaited museum expansion. The museum draws more than 50,000 visitors annually, and organizers hope to double that number with the creation of a 9,000-square-foot air conditioned visitors center, public meeting rooms, enclosed display building and more. “We’ll have world class railroad museum for people to come visit,” says museum director Randy Hess. “Unfortunately to do culture we need money. This was a substantial amount. I’m not a political person, but I spent a lot of time watching the legislative session.”

This story originally appeared in the Las Vegas Weekly.