The Randall Museum opened at this location in what was then a remote section of the City in 1951,
If you grew up in the City or the Castro chances are you know about the Randall Museum. It is a lesser known San Francisco education, interactive, museum focused on local nature and science straddling the border between the Castro and Corona Heights neighborhoods.
San Francisco school kids have been enjoying free tours of the museum for sixty years. Randall is dedicated to a variety of SF specific exhibits and workshops including crowd favorites that highlight indigeionous species of flora, fauna and wildlife.
This week the Board of Supervisors announced the aging, small hall is going to be revamped in part with a 5.5 million dollar state grant.
The educational facility, named after Josephine Randall, SF’s first Superintendent of Recreation, who in 1937 envisioned San Francisco should lead the nation in creating a string of museums earmarked to help City children learn about the environment and grow from the experience.
Plans on display for the soon to be remodeled Randall Museum.
The much-needed monies to accomplish the reconstruction will be used to double exhibit space, modernizing the building allowing it to better meet the needs of the City’s ever-growing diverse population.
It’s also the Museum’s goal to keep costs down that are passed on to citizens so more can enjoy it compared to other high ticket priced, educational orientated, well known and popular institutions like the City’s Exploratorium or CA. Academy of Sciences.
“The importance of creating additional programming space at the Randall cannot be overstated,” Supervisor Scott Wiener said in a statement. The museum, which is operated by the Recreation and Park Department, was awarded the grant in 2011 and its now ready to apply it to good use.
The area the kids love the most, interactive, hands on time with local wildlife, will be expanded and given a more natural look. Both a geological and zoological exhibit will be added to the museum. Additionally classrooms will renovated and science labs constructed.
All of this will help facilitate better understanding of San Francisco and all its natural inhabitants by the 100,000 plus visitors the Randall Museum hosts each year.
The grant is the largest that the City has received from the CA Dept. of Parks and Recreation under the 2006, voter approved, Prop. 84, which allocated $5.4 billion to foster environmental awareness programs through out the state.
The City is struggling to maintain all it’s facilities with an every shrinking budget and this grant couldn’t come at a better time for the Randall Museum where little has changed since it first opened its doors at this location in 1951.
The museum is always looking for new donors and supporters. You can pitch in here.
All work is expected to be completed in time for the new, 2015, school year.