Durham’s Museum of Life and Science hoping voters approve $14M museum bond


DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — On the ballot for Durham County residents is a $170 million bond referendum that, if passed, would see the money spent on Durham public schools, libraries, Durham Technical Community College and the Museum of Life and Science.

The museum is asking for the community’s support with $14 million as it continues to grow.

Several families and school visitors stopped by the Museum of Life and Science Thursday, just as they do throughout the week.

“We use this museum constantly. It is an amazing asset to our community,” said Durham resident Lindsay Dentel.

Traffic is expected to grow at the museum that already sees 500,000 visitors every year. The $14 million will go to accommodating that growth.

“It’s going to help us maintain and renew our exhibits, we’re going to build new classrooms, and have new space inside the building for all these people you see coming here,” said Julie Rigby, vice president of external relations at the museum.

While Dentel believes $14 million is a lot of money, she supports the bond because she sees the growth at the museum.

“It’s an amazing place for kids of all ages to explore, and be in nature, and every new thing they make is just over-the-top,” she said.

The museum’s 10-year capital plan is $34 million total. If voters don’t approve the referendum, Rigby said there could be problems.

“We’re going to have some capacity issues. We really want to serve everyone who wants to come here,” she said.

All four bonds are not grouped together, meaning that voters are voting on each bond separately.

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