Area museums, zoos to receive state grant funding

Scoville Zoo

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — One day after announcing that museums across the state would need to temporarily close to curb the spread of COVID-19, Gov. JB Pritzker’s office announced $22.8 million in grant funding for such facilities.

The museums qualifying for the grants are those that attract more than 16 million visitors annually, according to a release from the governor’s office.

Those facilities — which total 43 — span 15 counties. Locally, projects include Miller Zoo in the City of Bloomington; Champaign Park District’s Virginia Theater; Decatur Park District’s Scovill Zoo; Springfield Park District’s African and Asian mammal interpretative area and the Urbana Park District’s Outdoor Learning Pavilion.

Money for the 43 projects coms through the Illinois Public Museum Capital Grants program, which is funded by the Rebuild Illinois capital program.

The Illinois Public Museum Capital Grants Program, administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), is open to any museum operated by local government or located on municipally-owned land. The maximum grant award for the projects announced today was $750,000 and matching funds are required in many cases based on museum attendance levels.

More information on the Illinois Public Museum Capital Grants Program is available on the IDNR website at

The full list of 2020 Illinois Public Museum Capital Grants is included below.

Illinois Public Museum Capital Grants Program Awards for 2020

Art Institute of ChicagoFacilities Renewal ProjectCook$674,100.00
Bloomington, City of (Miller Park Zoo)South America Phase IMcLean$750,000.00
Bolingbrook Park DistrictHidden Lakes Outdoor Educational PavilionWill$505,700.00
Buffalo Grove Park DistrictEducational Gardens at The Nature Classroom – Phase 1Lake$246,000.00
Byron Museum DistrictByron’s Underground Railroad StationOgle$232,000.00
Champaign Park DistrictVirginia Theatre HVAC & System Access UpgradeChampaign$750,000.00
Chicago Academy of SciencesNature Museum Capital UpgradesCook$750,000.00
Chicago Children’s MuseumWater CityCook$616,400.00
Chicago Historical SocietyResearch Collection Facility RenovationCook$750,000.00
Chicago Horticultural Society dba Chicago Botanic GardenWater Main ImprovementsCook$750,000.00
Cook County, Forest Preserve District ofCrabtree Nature Center Exhibit and Building RenovationsCook$750,000.00
Decatur Park DistrictScovill Zoo Herpertarium Upgrades for Exhibits, Habitats, and ADA AccessibilityMacon$750,000.00
DeKalb Park DistrictStormwater Management, Roofing, and Exterior LightingDeKalb$413,000.00
Discovery Center Museum of Rockford Inc.Capital Expansion and Improvement Project – Phase 4Winnebago$369,900.00
DuPage Children’s MuseumChildren’s Museum Roof Restoration ProjectDuPage$92,500.00
Elmhurst History MuseumOperation UpgradeDuPage$255,300.00
Field Museum of Natural HistoryField Museum South East Quadrant 2nd and 3rd Floor HVAC UpgradeCook$750,000.00
Fox Valley Park DistrictRed Oak Nature Center Lobby Re-PurposingKane$85,000.00
Garfield Park Conservatory AllianceVisitor Lobby RenovationCook$595,600.00
Gillespie, City ofIllinois Coal Museum: Façade EnhancementMacoupin$33,800.00
Harry and Della Burpee Museum AssociationQuality Museum Air for All: HVAC ProjectWinnebago$665,500.00
Holocaust Memorial Foundation of Illinois, Inc.Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center Campus Improvement ProjectCook$750,000.00
Kane County, Forest Preserve District ofCreek Bend – Interactive Prairie ExhibitKane$200,000.00
Lincoln Park Zoological SocietyLincoln Park Zoo Capital Improvements for Visitor Accessibility and SafetyCook$750,000.00
Lombard Historical Society, Inc.Carriage House Expansion-Core OperationsDuPage$750,000.00
Macon County Conservation DistrictNature Center Permanent Exhibit RenovationsMacon$400,000.00
Midway Village & Museum CenterBuilding Audience Engagement Through Investing in HVAC ImprovementsWinnebago$112,600.00
Museum of Contemporary ArtMCA Pedestrian Plaza Surface Paver and Grout ReplacementCook$375,000.00
Museum of Science and Industry, ChicagoAir Handler Replacement ProjectCook$750,000.00
Naperville Heritage SocietyAg Lab in the Agricultural Interpretive CenterDuPage$749,700.00
National Museum of Mexican ArtGenerations: Preserving Mexican Art and Culture for the FutureCook$750,000.00
National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & CultureNational Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & CultureCook$750,000.00
Oak Park, Park District ofPleasant Home Geothermal ProjectCook$421,500.00
Oswegoland Park DistrictLittle White School Museum ADA Ramp ProjectKendall$56,100.00
Peoria Riverfront MuseumSTEM Inspires! – Dome Planetarium Capital UpgradesPeoria$700,000.00
Shedd Aquarium SocietyNorth Terrace RenovationCook$750,000.00
Springfield Park DistrictAfrican and Asian mammal interpretative areaSangamon$750,000.00
Town of Normal Children’s Discovery Museum FoundationLuckey ClimberMcLean$568,700.00
Urbana Park DistrictOutdoor Learning PavilionChampaign$750,000.00
Waukegan Park DistrictWaukegan History Museum Expansion at the Carnegie CenterLake$750,000.00
Will County, Forest Preserve District ofFour Rivers Interpretive ImprovementsWill$750,000.00
Williamsville Public Library and MuseumWPLM Outdoor Education SpaceSangamon$42,900.00
Winnebago CountyAccess and Accessibility ImprovementsWinnebago$192,000.00
 TOTAL FUNDING: $22,853,300.00

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