How much money are you raising and where is the money coming from? The rebuild of the JMZ will cost a total of $25 million for Phase 1 (including construction, contingency and soft costs). The Friends of the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo secured a generous grant from the Peery Foundation, who pledged $15 million in matching funds ($1 for every $1.5 for every dollar raised). The other $10 million will come from private donors. This $25 million gift to the City of Palo Alto is unprecedented, but reflects a commitment from the Friends, the Peery Foundation and the community of donors to this amazing place to keep it viable for the future.
How will the JMZ change? The JMZ’s values and mission of providing early science education, and inspiring children to love science and nature will not change. The facilities of the JMZ will improve, with more space for classrooms, exhibits, offices, and restrooms and with a significantly better layout that will be more visitor-friendly and more effective to use. We will also better meet environmental standards that we are not able to achieve with the current building.
Why are you rebuilding? I love the JMZ just the way it is. The current JMZ was built in 1941, and is now simply inadequate to meet current safety and educational expectations. The new building will be just as intimate and interactive as the current one, but viable for future generations of children.
How big is the new building going to be? The new building will be 14,500 sq. feet (compared to 8,868 sq. feet now).
Will there be an entrance fee? The City of Palo Alto intends to introduce a modest fee for entrance into the JMZ. This fee will support the daily operations of the JMZ, such as zoo and educational staff. The Board of the Friends of the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo will continue to raise funds to ensure that all communities can participate in JMZ programs.
What will happen to the JMZ while you are rebuilding? The JMZ will be temporarily housed in a local community facility. Details are still being worked out by the City of Palo Alto.
How long will construction take? What will that mean to the neighborhood? The rebuild will take approximately eighteen months from groundbreaking – planned to commence in the fall of 2017. We are committed to keeping our neighbors fully informed about our plans, before and during the rebuild.
Who are the Friends of the JMZ? The Friends of the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo is a non-profit organization committed to raising funds to support the JMZ beyond the money the City provides. The Friends funds the Science Outreach Program, which provides science classes to low-income schools in East Palo Alto and East Menlo Park at no cost to the schools. The Friends also funds capital improvements and new exhibits, such as Africa’s Bat Habitat, Bobcat Ridge and the Buzzzz exhibit.
Will the City of Palo Alto still operate the JMZ? The City of Palo Alto and the Friends of the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo will enter into an operating agreement where the Friends construct the new facility and the City will operate once construction is complete.