Today's Question: Is the YouZeum worth saving?

Friday, October 2, 2009 | 9:39 a.m. CDT; updated 3:08 p.m. CDT, Thursday, June 10, 2010

* CORRECTION: The Youzeum has seen about 35,000 visitors this year. A number previously reporter in this column was incorrect.

COLUMBIA — The YouZeum is facing financial and personnel issues that could potentially kill the $8.5 million interactive science museum.

YouZeum, which opened in May 2008 after months of delays, lost its second director in a year this summer, has cut back general admission hours, and is seeing a severe decline in attendance compared with what was expected. 

It's located in an old federal building at 608 Cherry St. and received $750,000 in federal money, $250,000 in state tax credits and $350,000 from local governments.

The museum has failed to remain financially viable; museum officials expected about 60,000 visitors each year, but it has seen about *35,000.

The Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau gave YouZeum $350,000 total for its first two years of operation. But in the Columbia Daily Tribune, Lorah Steiner, executive director of the Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau, said future funding would likely not be approved.

Surely there will be ideas about how to save the museum from going under, but with attendance simply lacking, would any time or money spent be necessary?

What ideas do you have to help the YouZeum? Is it worth saving?

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Derrick Fogle October 2, 2009 | 11:51 a.m.

As-is, I think the venture is pretty much dead. Something cool could arise from the ashes, and I fervently wish for that to happen. But... that seems pretty far-fetched.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr October 2, 2009 | 2:04 p.m.

Not worth saving unless they incorporate themselves with the State Historical Society that needs that building anyway.

Make it happen so we can stop seeing this in the news.

(Report Comment)
Jai Alai October 2, 2009 | 3:36 p.m.

I don't think the YouZeum needs ideas, it needs money. Ideas are worthless without the funds to execute them. All these 'suggestions' won't just magically come to fruition.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr October 2, 2009 | 4:53 p.m.

Jai Alai you miss the point.

A: Youzeum needs help in any way it can get it to survive.

B: State Historical Society needs a home soon.

Answer: Get The Butterfly and Bill Watkins to work their behind the scenes magic of the Eminent Domain to make that merger happen so both can live.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 2, 2009 | 5:45 p.m.

Deaf ears?

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr October 2, 2009 | 5:48 p.m.

ray shapiro

Mindless drones?

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 2, 2009 | 6:14 p.m.

Charles Dudley Jr:

Power broking bureaucrats?

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr October 3, 2009 | 4:16 a.m.

ray shapiro:

Greedy,self centered and self driven narcissists?

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 3, 2009 | 2:20 p.m.

Charles Dudley Jr.

Shrewed business men?

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr October 3, 2009 | 3:40 p.m.

ray shapiro:

You must be joking?

(Report Comment)

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