Clear88° FULL FORECASTClear88° FULL FORECAST
Make us your home page
Instagram

Bay Buzz

The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

MOSI's about-face on Hillsborough loan the latest in museum's saga

The Museum of Science and Industry reported admission revenue has dropped 41 percent from 2013, in addition to lower donations.

SKIP O’ROURKE | Times

The Museum of Science and Industry reported admission revenue has dropped 41 percent from 2013, in addition to lower donations.

28

October

In somewhat of a surprising decision, the Museum of Science and Industry on Tuesday chose not to accept Hillsborough County’s tough terms for a $400,000 loan — a month after the museum’s leader asked for the loan to cover payroll and other operating expenses.

The MOSI board decided they’re better off fundraising the money on their own, and raised their fundraising goal by $400,000 to $3.4 million.

It’s the latest twist in the ongoing saga with MOSI — a once-respected learning institution that has faced significant financial hardship and a lack of direction in recent years — but it certainly won’t be the last. The county remains invested in MOSI because it owns the land and the building, and Hillsborough has high expectations for the area around University of South Florida of which MOSI is a part. But MOSI is also weighing a move to Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik’s development near downtown Tampa.

Here’s a brief timeline of MOSI’s recent ups and downs:

March 19, 2014 — MOSI draws scrutiny from Hillsborough for money, bug problems

April 15, 2014 — Longtime MOSI chief Wit Ostrenko to retire

July 15, 2014 — Audit critical of MOSI accounting, financial management

April 27, 2015 — Jeff Vinik's development team looking at idea of moving MOSI downtown

May 6, 2015 — Hillsborough commissioners quarrel over using MOSI land for USF football stadium

July 11, 2015 — Critics link new leader of MOSI to failure of Sarasota museum

July 24, 2015 — New MOSI leader hired to 'keep the lights on' until downtown move, Hillsborough administrator says

Oct. 21, 2015 — Hillsborough county agrees to give financially troubled Tampa museum $400,000 — if they meet these 14 conditions

Oct. 28, 2015 — Despite financial problems, Museum of Science and Industry rejects Hillsborough's terms for $400,000 loan

[Last modified: Wednesday, October 28, 2015 1:00pm]

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...