Archive for Thursday, July 5, 2007

Museum board seeks costs

July 5, 2007

The newest goal of the board of directors of the Kansas Regional Prisons Museum comes down to not counting their eggs before they're hatched.

In a meeting Friday, the board decided it wanted to get a clearer understanding of how much money will be needed for the museum and what specific elements would be included in that cost.

"We've got a lot of ideas but we need to sit down and get it in black and white," said board member Harley Russell.

The original cost estimate of $3 million was figured by board member Bill Johnson and was based strictly on a square foot estimate that could vary immensely, he said. That cost does not include any interior work or account for inflation or volunteer labor, he added.

Before the committee's next meeting, members will work out a full funding report that will include more specifics about what is needed for the museum and how much each item will cost.

Bob Ulin, a former City Council member who is not on the board but attends each meeting, said the board currently has a good conceptual idea but needs to outline each cost for people to see. He said as funds continue to come in, more people who want to donate money are going to start asking about specifics regarding the budget.

In the treasurer's report, Leonard Lockwood reported the committee had currently $19,430 on hand.

The next meeting's time and date have not been set and will be determined based on when a full funding report can be completed.

In other business, the board welcomed its new Web site, www.ksprisonsmuseum.org.

Shanae Randolph, economic development/ convention and visitors bureau director, said it was a great start. More information will be added over time, but Randolph said for right now it would be helpful getting the word out to the public about the museum.

The board also discussed the idea of getting the museum's gift shop started by having postcards with the pictures of prison facilities in the area available for sale at the Lansing Historical Museum.

Members of the board reacted positively toward the idea but agreed that permission to use the facility's images should come directly from each institution.

Randolph said the purpose of the postcards wasn't to try to bring in a lot of money but just another way to spread information about the cause.

In a report by Laura Phillippi, Lansing Historical Museum site supervisor, the board received an update on additions to the collection that had been donated. She said she's heard from several people who either worked in one of the prisons themselves or had family who did who were willing to donate items.

So far, Phillippi has collected hundreds of photographs, and many objects that range from prisoner contraband to a miniature, working guillotine made by an inmate.

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