Friends of the Zeiss                                    

P.O. Box 1041                                                                   

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15230-1041 U.S.A.

Telephone: 412-561-7876

Electronic Mail: < >

Internet Web Site: < >


                       NEWS RELEASE


For immediate release: 2003 October 1

For more information -- Glenn A. Walsh:

Daytime: E-Mail < >

Evening: Telephone 412-561-7876




Pittsburgh, Oct. 1 –   On page 17 of the (Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh) business plan, it briefly speaks to the labor-intensive nature of the expanded Museum: ‘Personnel (expense is high but also represents a soft cost easily cut if attendance is lower than projection)’.” Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director of Friends of the Zeiss, stated this passage from the Children’s Museum’s expansion project business plan, before the Board of Directors of the Allegheny Regional Asset District (ARAD) on Wednesday evening. He added, “I wonder if the Children’s Museum staff realizes that they are considered a 'soft cost easily cut'.”


Mr. Walsh went on to say, “The Carnegie Science Center used the same rationale when they opened in 1991. Their revenue was no-where-near projection. The Science Center reduced public visiting hours, increased admission fees, and laid-off about 30 employees, all within the first year of operation!”


These statements were in response to Children’s Museum Executive Director Jane Werner’s promise to the ARAD Board, on September 2, that the Children’s Museum operating budget would be “in excess,” with no deficits, once the expanded museum opens next year, according to their business plan. Yet, according to the Children’s Museum’s Fiscal Year 2004 grant application to ARAD, the Museum has suffered deficits in the last four fiscal years, including half-million dollar deficits for the last two years! Ms. Werner claimed that the business plan projected these deficits, which are being covered by the Museum’s capital account. (See Addendum, at end of news release, for specific figures for the last four fiscal years.)

Mr. Walsh asked the ARAD Board, “Do you really believe that after four years of deficits, with half-million deficits the last two years, the Museum will magically turn a profit, or even break-even, once they have to manage a facility four times the size of the current Museum ?


According to Mr. Walsh, a former Treasurer and Trustee of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library of Carnegie, Pennsylvania, “this atypical business plan gave Ms. Werner the excuse to ignore the need to balance the Children’s Museum budget! No matter what this strange business plans says, it will be much more difficult to balance the Museum’s budget once the facility is four times larger—not easier, as Ms. Werner would want you to believe.”


Mr. Walsh concluded by saying, “If the Children’s Museum expansion project must go forward, then additional revenue sources must be found for operating the expanded building. To maximize the revenue potential of the Buhl Planetarium building, and attendance to the expanded Children’s Museum, we ask that this Board insist that the historic Zeiss II Planetarium Projector and 10-inch Siderostat-type Refractor Telescope be returned to the Buhl Planetarium building for historical presentations in the expanded Museum.”

Friends of the Zeiss was formally organized in April of 2002, with the mission "To preserve, maintain and operate, and to raise funds for these purposes, two historic scientific instruments and associated apparatus and artifacts originated at The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania."
                                                             - 30 -

Addendum – Annual deficits of Children’s Museum, according to their FY 2004 grant application to ARAD -

FY 2000: $77,407;      FY 2001: $206,149;      FY 2002: $555,559;      FY 2003: $649,421


Attachment (on reverse side): Text of Statement of Glenn A. Walsh Before ARAD Board, 2003 October 1.