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Special to the American Press

Efforts to raise money for hurricane museum continue

Last Modified: Monday, May 06, 2013 9:16 PM

By Eric Cormier / American Press

Efforts to raise an estimated $68 million for the proposed National Hurricane Museum and Science Center continue.

Gray Stream, chairman of the museum’s board of directors, said talks with large corporations have paid off, as the fundraising project has netted $14 million in commitments.

“It has been a deliberate process. I do wish the dollars would be unleashed quicker,” he said. “We’ve also gotten a lot of ‘atta boys’ and pats on the back. But no rejections.”

Stream views the task as a challenge and knows that the Gulf region is the target audience for financial donations.

Steam has visited Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Houston to speak to organizations and company executives about the museum. Plans are for the museum to be constructed near the Lake Charles Civic Center.

The group is also targeting federal agencies for financial support.

Organizers are working to make the museum a center for educational programs and a linchpin for economic growth for the lakefront and downtown districts.

Stream has also visited corporate boardrooms to spread the word about the museum.

While working on the fundraising process, Stream said the organization has begun tweaking its overall plan in order to adjust to market trends and to find ways to better publicize the museum.

“Right now we’re working with a couple of different groups while we push ahead with getting major champion support,” he said. “And we continue to check our educational initiatives and communications strategies.”

The museum entered into an agreement with the city to possibly build the facility on the north side of the Civic Center grounds.

Posted By: PQW On: 5/17/2013

Title: Really?

Looking at that picture, I don't see 60 feet of space. Do you? I remember when the Civic Center was approved to be built and it was meant for public use. Plenty of other places for a business to go buy their own land to build museums and residential properties.

Posted By: Andrew On: 5/17/2013

Title: Re:PQW

PQW, the public still enjoys a 60-foot right of way on the lakefront all along the Civic Center grounds. I'm sure that that right of way of the public will still remain by the time the hotel and museum are built. There is no reason to have 50+ acres of parking lots right on the water. This is land that could be used for commercial and residential purposes.

Posted By: PQW On: 5/8/2013

Title: Build it somewhere else

I am in favor of the hurricane museum coming to Lake Charles but it needs to be built somewheres else. Why does it have to be on Civic Center grounds that the public now enjoys? By the time the museum and the hotel people want to put in at the Civic Center, there will be nothing left to it the way we know it now.I am not in favor of making the grounds commercial but keeping it public.

Posted By: Gray Stream On: 5/7/2013

Title: Response to B Wondering

Thank you for your thoughtful and fair comment. The NHMSC is located in Lake Charles for a variety of reasons. For instance: the region has historically been impacted by important storms as you note; the location represents a unique vista off of the I-10 bridge--this is the main east/west corridor of the southern US traveled by tens of thousands of drivers a day and no other point on the route has this sort of visibility; this is the geographic center of the Gulf Coast; regional leaders initiated the effort. Beyond these reasons, the concept of the NHMSC is meant to defy its brick and mortar location. The NHMSC will be the central nervous system of a collaborative effort drawing together agencies, industry, and educational stakeholders. It is intended to help people better prepare for and recover from hurricanes, and to leverage this robust platform to educate young people about science and math concepts. Thank you again for your comments. Those other locations have rich hurricane histories as well and we hope to incorporate them into this effort.

Posted By: B Wondering On: 5/7/2013

Title: Why Lake Charles?

There are a number of places which make historical sense for a hurricane center to be located- New Orleans, Biloxi, Galveston/Houston, among others. Lake Charles has been impacted by storms over the years as many others have, but it doesn't strike me that it has optimal "draw" for visitors. Kudos for their trying, though!

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