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Scottsdale Gets Concept Proposals for 2-Story Western Museum

By Beth Duckett for The Arizona Republic

Scottsdale Museum of the West

A Scottsdale Museum of the West is one step closer to fruition after a non-profit group submitted new concepts for the long-awaited arts and history museum in downtown Scottsdale.

Scottsdale would hire a designer and a builder to construct the project. Design could take six months while construction could span from a year to 14 months. Scottsdale already has identified a slice of its hotel bed-tax revenues dedicated toward tourism projects, which could cover $7.5 million.

The non-profit Scottsdale Museum of the West, led by chief executive and director Mike Fox, submitted the proposals this summer to operate the museum. The organization was the sole respondent to a request for proposals from the city.

Both call for a two-story Western art and history museum on city-owned land northwest of Marshall Way and Second Street. Capital costs are estimated at $11.7 million to $13.1 million.

The more expensive option calls for a sculptural garden, community garden and a small-scale educational amphitheater that would link to the nearby museum.

“The 40,000-square-foot building provides more public spaces for the Scottsdale Museum of the West to meet its exhibition, education, program and special public-event goals of the project, both indoor and outdoor,” Fox said.

The cost of constructing an additional 7,000 square feet is “a prudent investment, which the city could make in this highly competitive building market today, getting just that much greater bang for its buck,” Fox said.

The second proposal involves the renovation of a nearby transit station building, Fox said. The preferred design could spill over onto the transit station site, which the city is in the process of acquiring through a land swap, Fox said.

The Scottsdale Museum of the West estimated average operating costs of $1.6 million annually for the first three years. It is not requesting any city funds for operating costs.

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