|Rep. Michelle Brownlee
195th Legislative District
Brownlee touts state funding for Philly zoo, museum
PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 12 – State Rep. Michelle Brownlee, D-Phila., said today that recently awarded state grants for the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Philadelphia Zoo are a huge financial and cultural boon to the district.
The zoo will receive $1.3 million for the Hamilton Family Children's Zoo and Faris Family Education Center, and the museum will receive $5 million for an art-handling program as redevelopment assistance capital projects.
“These awards represent a big investment in the cultural staying power of the 195th District,” Brownlee said. “These matching grants lighten the load for private fundraising and ensure that the projects are completed as quickly as possible. The great thing about these projects is that they’re fun and educational.” Opening in 2013, the zoo’s education center is a 21st century re-imagination of the family-favorite Pachyderm House. Key design elements include an outdoor contact yard with a variety of rare heritage-breed farm animals with related play features, including a goat bridge and children's climbing tower.
At the art museum, the handling program will consist of a new loading dock and operation spaces. The grant request was to expand the scope of the handling center to include a new education center and public entrance, repairs and upgrades to two existing passenger elevators, the installation of two new public elevators, the laser cleaning of the south terrace wall and the completion of a kitchen.
Fifty-four projects across the state, totaling nearly $125 million, were selected for funding under the Economic Growth Initiative grant program, which is administered by the state Budget Office.
Because the applications submitted for this round of grants far exceeded the amounts available, those who didn’t receive grants are encouraged to work with the Budget Office to compete in the next round.