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Mar 23, 2010 9:47 PM by Andy Koen

Privatizing Pioneers Museum a possibility

History never stops, but at the Colorado Springs Pioneer's Museum they're worried it could on December 31st.

City officials nearly closed the museum last year because of a lack of funding and director Matt Mayberry says they may need to restructure the institution as a private non-profit organization in order to survive.

"If that gives us the best opportunity to move forward then that's what we have to do," Mayberry said.

The museum has an operating budget of about $1 million a year.  They have kept doors open this year with only $665,000 but Mayberry says anything less would mean closing the museum in order preserve the collection.

Mayberry says the artifacts and relics stored are a crucial part of the city's past and need to be accessible to the public.

"A community has to understand how it developed in order to move forward, communities are a part of a continuum from the past into the future."

Mayberry is hiring a consultant to map out a long term plan for the museum's future.  It will cost between $20-30,000, all of which is being provided for through a private donation.

He hopes to begin looking at business as early as next month.  "That will give us a better idea of what can we do in terms of revenue generation or raising funds," Mayberry said.

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