The Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science in Miami has announced gifts totaling $7.5 million from the Batchelor Foundation in support of an environmental center and a permanent exhibition.
A gift of $5 million will help finance construction of the Batchelor Environmental Center on a 75,000-square-foot parcel of land on the Biscayne Bay campus of Florida International University. The new facility will include a new bird of prey rehabilitation clinic; research and teaching facilities for FIU's School of Environment, Arts and Society and the museum's educational programs; aquaponic and hydroponic systems for research and experimentation; and research tanks that can house sharks, billfish, and other pelagic species. Scheduled to be completed by the end of 2015, the center will build on the success of the Falcon Batchelor Bird of Prey Center, which has been part of the museum since 1991.
A second gift of $2.5 million will support the Feathers to the Stars Gallery — a permanent exhibition dedicated to the story of overcoming gravity and realizing the dream of human flight — at the new museum, which is under construction in downtown Miami.
"[The] Batchelor Foundation has been involved with the museum for more than two decades, and we are so grateful that the foundation has strengthened its support with these two gifts," said Gillian Thomas, president and CEO of the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science. "Both the gallery in our new museum and the environmental center will provide people of all ages with interesting, hands-on experiences that will open their eyes to science."