City funds designated to the Henderson Space & Science Center could be put on hold

Funding allocated to the Henderson Space & Science Center could be put on hold as the city of Henderson re-examines money that has been gifted to the center.

“No one on the board ever thought this would be easy,” said Jack Clark, executive director for the Henderson Space & Science Center. “People think this is discouraging. This is just a necessary part to move the project forward. We will continue to work with the city staff and elected officials to find a solution.”

A Feb. 7 memo from Henderson City Manager Mark Calhoun revealed his recommendation to hold funds that were supposed to go to the center.

The center had $21 million in a land fund that was to be set aside for the construction of a proposed facility near U.S. Highway 95 and Galleria Drive in the planned Union Village complex.

The center’s board would be obliged to raise an additional $63 million through grants and private donors.

Clark believes that when the center opens, it could bring in about 400,000 guests a year.

In his letter, Calhoun said there are other projects that should be considered a higher priority, especially those that have grants tied to them and require a funding match from the city. Calhoun wrote: “Some grants have an expiration which will mature next calendar year.”

The agenda item discussing the recommendation was withdrawn from the Feb. 21 Henderson City Council meeting.

“We understand the challenges the city is facing,” Clark said. “We will continue to work with the city to look for ways to move forward.”

Clark said he hopes the city and the board can reach a solution in the next few weeks.

The center, which recently unveiled its concept design and model for the development, also had its request for $2.9 million withdrawn from the agenda.

If it had been approved, the money would have gone toward funding for architectural services and a director of design and construction.

Contact Henderson/Anthem View reporter Michael Lyle at mlyle@viewnews.com or 387-5201.

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