Science Center Aims to Reduce $20 Million Debt

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — The St. Louis Science Center hopes closing some exhibits and ramping up donations will help reduce their 20 million dollar debt.

Science Center President Bert Vescolani says the debt accumulated before he came on board a year ago.

“I’m a little bit more fiscally conservative than most probably so I have a tendency to want to keep that as low as possible.” Vescolani goes on to say that the debt is a mortgage. “I think that everyone can recognize that a mortgage is something that you have when you have a facility, when you have a building.”

But despite inheriting the problem Vesccolani says he plans to lower the center’s utility bills by doing away with the inflatable Exploradome. He says its old and leaking and that costs the center $200,000 a year just to keep it open.

The Science Center gets about $10 million a year — half of its budget — from taxpayers.

“While they are barely breaking even they don’t have the resources to both pay off the debt and to modernize and expand the facility,” said Board member Charlie Valier.


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