Bell Museum loses chance for new building

The view from Weisman
The University of Minnesota hoped to receive $24 million to fund a new building for the Bell Museum.
MPR Photo/Marianne Combs

University of Minnesota and MnSCU building projects fared relatively well in the bonding bill signed by Gov. Pawlenty Monday.

One exception is the line item veto of the U of M's Bell Museum of Natural History building. The university hoped to secure $24 million in state money for a new museum building to be built on the U of M's St. Paul campus. The current Bell Museum is in Minneapolis.

Museum Director Scott Lanyon says the governor's action is disappointing.

"The museum and its supporters have been very hopeful that the governor would get behind this project, since the museum really is about science and technology and math education. And we thought that would be something the governor would feel strongly about," said Lanyon.

The bonding bill includes a plan to build a series of facilities for biomedical research at the U of M. University President Robert Bruininks says elected leaders deserve credit for embracing what he calls a forward-looking idea.

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