Museum admission fees rising

The Park District Board of Commissioners approved a hike in admission fees for the Museum of Science and Industry yesterday.

Fees will rise from $7 to $9 for children; $9.50 to $12 for seniors; and $11 to $13 for adults. Chicago residents will continue to receive their $1 discount. The changes take effect Wednesday.

Museum President David Mosena attributed the fee increase to expanded programs.

"We have done national surveys that show that Chicago institutions as a whole, ours included, fall considerably below other cities in terms of what they charge the public," said Mosena.

Mosena said that roughly one half of the museum's visitors attend for free, including groups of school children, Chicagoans who show a city library card, and patrons who attend on one of the 52 free days that the museum holds each year.

"I think we are a very accessible institution," said Mosena. "Nobody should be deterred by the admission fee from coming to the museum."

The Museum is offering free admission from Jan. 12 to Jan. 30.

The last fee increase for the museum occurred in 2006.

The Daily News is unable to provide further details about the fee increse and other ordinances passed by the Park District yesterday because the board's secretary refused to provide copies of the ordinances and supporting documents.

State law requires public agencies to provide such materials to the public.

In other news, the board:

*Passed an ordinance designating certain financial institutions as depositories for park district funds.

*Approved entering into a contract with All-Bry Construction for a new playground at Mount Greenwood on the southwest side of Chicago.

*Awarded a $2,225,000 no-bid contract to the Archdiocese of Chicago Food Service Professionals to provide lunch and snacks for park day camps.

During the meeting's public comment session, resident George Blakemoore called the bypassing of the bidding process  "criminal."

But board president Gery Chico defended the contract, saying that the board had used the bidding process for the previous three years and had received no bids from other companies.


BROEREN, 01-17-2008