HARTFORD - A $4 million grant to the Connecticut Science Center and another $2.2 million for the Mark Twain House & Museum head up an impressive list of state funding proposals for cultural institutions that are expected to win approval Friday.
The agenda for this week's state Bond Commission also includes $650,000 for improvements to the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center in Hartford; $600,000 to the Music Theater of Connecticut for creation of a new music facility in Norwalk; and $300,000 to the Connecticut Historical Society for renovation work.
All of these items have been included on the bond commission's agenda, and that almost always guarantees the panel's approval. The bond commission acts as a final clearing house for state grants and loans from bonding previously authorized by the General Assembly.
The funding for the Connecticut Science Center in Hartford will pay for replacement of heating, air conditioning and ventilation equipment, technology upgrades and additions to science exhibits, according to state officials.
The science center opened in June 2009. The nine-story building was constructed at a cost of $165 million, with the state providing more than $100 million of the funding.
Officials at the Mark Twain House said the $2.2 million being allocated for that popular tourist attraction will pay for long-needed maintenance and improvements.
"We face major challenges regarding certain aspects of our site," Cindy Lovell, executive director of the Mark Twain House, said in a prepared statement.
Needed renovations include improvements to deal with water infiltration and humidity in the museum's historical collections, repairs to deteriorating exterior stairs and courtyard, and an inefficient heating, cooling and ventilation system, according to Lovell.
"Attendance is good and we are implementing plans to increase visitation significantly over the next three years," said Lovell.
Last year, the Twain House & Museum had about 50,000 visitors from all 50 states and 72 countries.