CITY APPROVES SCI-PORT CEA: Sci-Port Discovery Center is a 92,000 square-foot science and entertainment center on Shreveport’s Riverfront, it’s been a popular family attraction for years. However Sci-Port has had problems staying solvent for various reasons stemming from alleged mismanagement and lack of funding.
Earlier this week, the Shreveport City Council approved a plan to reorganize Sci-Port and put it on a more stable operating path. It’s a cooperative endeavor agreement between the City and a new group called - Red River STEM, Inc., which stands for Science Technology Engineering and Math. This group is to manage and operate the children’s science center.
Kristi Gustavson is Executive Director for the Community Foundation of North Louisiana, a group that has provided grants to Sci-Port in the past. She is part of the effort to help reorganize the former Sci-Port and joins me now to explain what this agreement means and what happens next.
GUSTAVSON: "The city council approved the entry of a cooperative endeavor agreement with a new entity named Red River STEM for the use and management of the children's science center known as Sci-Port. So eventually it allows new management of the science museum. And the transition will take place on August 1st, I believe is the effective date of the CEA. Starting August 1st there will be a new board chair and shortly thereafter a new executive director. Sci-Port hasn't had an executive director for at least a year."
RED RIVER RADIO: So will there be any dramatic changes to Sci-Port? Will it still operate under that name or will it come under a new branding banner?
GUSTAVSON: "It'll still be called Sci-Port and the mission will be very similar to the original mission of Sci-Port. Obviously with a new executive director come new and exciting ideas. I'm sure some thing will change and some things will be similar. It's my understanding that POP and IMAX will stay open hopefully through the transition from old management to new. So there will be a component of Sci-Port that's open even while the new board and executive director are working on any changes they want to make to the exhibits and that kind of thing to get the entire space back up and running."
RED RIVER RADIO: Gustavson says that current SCI-PORT memberships will still be honored and for updates… members are advised to check the website sci-port.org