Schumer Secures Federal Funding for MOST East Wing Renovation

Posted on April 20, 2024

April 17, 2024—The Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology (MOST) would like to thank United States Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer and the rest of our federal delegation, including United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Brandon Williams, for delivering nearly $3 million in highly sought after federal funding to upgrade our museum. These funds will help the MOST embark on a major renovation project to transform the eastern portion of the historic armory building into a state-of-the-art STEAM education space. The MOST would also like to thank Senator Schumer for his history of support for the arts and our museum, particularly in February of this year when Senator Schumer successfully expedited a stalled tax credit, delivering over $375,000 to reimburse the MOST for employee retention during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The federal funding secured by these elected officials is transformational for the MOST and for the community we serve,” said MOST President Lauren Kochian. “This project will enable us to expand and diversify the high-quality science and technology education that we offer the local community, most of which we offer free to participants and their families. We are so excited about the impact that this project will have on educational opportunities for kids from all backgrounds.”

“I am proud to deliver this nearly $3 million in federal funding for Syracuse’s beloved Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology. This will help the museum grow to give thousands of Syracuse kids and families access to new, state-of-the art classrooms and hands-on learning in science, math, and technology,” said U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer. “From Micron’s major investment in Central NY to the exciting research going on at SU, places like the MOST that combine learning and fun are how we can spark interest early on for the STEAM jobs that will be building Syracuse’s future.”

“Today, we are committing to putting millions toward bettering the lives of countless Central New York families. … this [money] will fund long-desired projects and help the area grow,” said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “I’m proud to have fought to secure this funding, and I’ll continue to work tirelessly to make sure Central New York families, workers, and businesses have what they need to thrive.”

“We are delivering results for the families, businesses, and communities of Central New York,” said Congressman Brandon Williams, whose office initially supported and advanced the funding request.

The east wing of the MOST, referred to as Phase 4, was completed in 1907 as part of the third New York State Armory built on the site. The interior has not been in active use since the 1980s and was not renovated as part of the original conversion of the building into the MOST in the mid-1990s. The space is adjacent to the lawn on the Jefferson Street loop and features a four-story turreted tower. The interior, which is currently used for storage, includes 10,000 square feet of space, and retains considerable historical details from its original construction. Carved wood fireplaces, original hardwood floors, vintage light fixtures, and other handmade and locally crafted details will be preserved and restored. The project will convert the space into classroom and instructional space, upgrade and modernize plumbing, mechanical, life safety, and other support systems, and add an elevator and other modifications for ADA accessibility.

Serving one of the highest-poverty cities in the United States, the MOST is a key partner in education and neighborhood revitalization, helping prepare youth for career success, especially in the high-tech industries that are coming to Central New York. The museum’s multiple outreach programs are geared toward groups historically underrepresented in STEM fields, such as women and people of color. Current programs include KeyBank Future Innovators, targeted to students in grades 6-9 who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) with the goal of getting them engaged in STEM careers. The MACNY Future Women in STEM series brings middle school girls together to learn about careers in STEM fields like engineering, computer science, and manufacturing. These programs and others offer high-quality STEM education and career exploration for local families and include a free family admission to the museum for the day. The museum also partners with the Syracuse City School District through the National Grid Scienceearning Partnership, which gives every student in kindergarten, 4th, 5th, and 6th grade a free field trip to the MOST, including science demonstrations and activities aligned with their school curriculum. The expanded and renovated classroom and hands-on educational spaces in Phase 4 will enable the MOST to build on these existing programs and offer an even higher volume of programming.

The Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology (MOST) is a hands-on science and technology museum located in historic Armory Square in downtown Syracuse. The MOST is focused on dynamic science education that engages learners of all ages and abilities. It features 35,000 square feet of interactive permanent and traveling exhibits plus the state-of-the-art National Grid ExploraDome theatre. The museum operates numerous STEM education programs and community outreach events throughout the year. The MOST's mission is to provide informal science learning experiences that ignite curiosity, encourage discovery, and inspire investigation. The MOST is open from 9:30 to 5, Thursday through Sunday, plus most school holidays and breaks. To learn more, visit most.org.

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