How much will it end up costing?

Many of us have been wondering about the cost of the proposed children’s museum

We found this article “10 STEPS TO STARTING A MUSEUM” interesting.

Item 5 on the list says this:

Do the numbers.  Starting a museum is very expensive, as a rule of thumb, the exhibition space is half of the overall space, a 4500 exhibition space becomes a 9000 square ft building at $200 per square foot of new construction is $1.8 million dollars, plus approximately, $150 to fit out the gallery spaces, $675,000, total $2,475,000 in start up costs plus operating costs.

The article tells us to plan for costs of $200 per square foot to build the building and another $150 per square foot for the exhibits.

According to a recent article in El Paso Times the current plan is to build an 80,000 square foot facility.

80,000 times $350 per square feet comes to $28 million dollars.

Approaching the numbers from a different direction, if they actually build the museum for the current budget amount of $60 million, the cost per foot will be $750 per square foot.

The article goes on to suggest that operating costs will be about $40 per square foot per year.  That would mean a $3.2 million budget will be needed.  The Times article told us that the anticipated budget will be $2.5 million per year.


We deserve better


13 Responses to How much will it end up costing?

  1. Use Google says:

    Or you could just call “Explora” the Albuquerque Children’s Museum and ask them what their annual operating budget is. Or maybe just download the annual report:


    • abandon hope says:

      Good idea. El Paso government seldom learns from the experience of others though.


    • Anonymous says:

      First you have to figure out if children’s museum equals Explora’s STEM-based model or the new trend in more playground than science. It would be interesting to know what Explora cost to build.


    • Anonymous says:

      The previous city council visited other ballparks before voting to build the downtown ballpark, but they didn’t take time to analyze construction costs or review tenant lease agreements in other cities. That’s why we ended up with a ballpark that was way over budget and a one-sided lease agreement in which Mountainstar got almost all the income and taxpayers got almost all the costs.


      • abandon hope says:

        Yes. Our City Councils love to take trips and rack up costs. They can find out what they need to know from accountants figures, conference calls and presentations. Trip expenses for several Council and government leaders add up to real money.


  2. Chas Thomas says:

    Along with “How much will it end up costing?” The other question is who is going to pay for it? At least we know the answer to that one.


  3. Anonymous says:

    The problem is that if you look at the trends, big city Children’s Museums they become more amusement park/Comic-Con focused and less museum. What we are likely to end up with based on the rendering is a giant playground with a few hands on exhibits like dig in the dirt for dinosaurs that will supposedly excite 1-6 year olds about science. Interestedly enough, these type venues in Chicago, Miami and a few other cities label themselves children’s museums. I guess we now have to avoid that term because maybe folks with kids over 6 are underwhelmed with it. Apparently, the playground bling costs more than a typical museum. One of the complaints about the Miami museum was a lot of the hands on exhibits stopped working—guessing operating costs are going to have a surprise factor because kids can be tough on hands on exhibits.


  4. JerryK says:

    Speaking of hands-on, does anyone know if the “wall” is still operable?


  5. Anonymous says:

    It also appears the city of Albuquerque provided $9.5 million for the building and local businesses and private contributions fund everything else. Wish we had Albuquerque’s leadership—they obviously understand how public-private partnerships are supposed to work.


  6. P. Moore says:

    Good luck maintaining those hands-on exhibits. City hall has to signs in the men’s bathrooms asking people not to put trash in the urinals.


  7. Anonymous says:

    $150 per sq ft is at the low end of the range of $150 to $500 per sq ft for exhibits. The more cutting edge and interactive the exhibit, the higher the cost.


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