Auditors: Sci-Port financial losses create uncertainty about museum's future

Raw interview with Sci-Port President

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - A report released Monday questions whether the Shreveport science museum, Sci-Port, can stay afloat based on losses from previous years. However, Ann Fumarolo, Sci-Port's CEO and president says despite the auditor's opinion, things are looking up for them.

Sitting at the edge of downtown Shreveport, the Sci-Port science museum is known for their kid-friendly events and interactive exhibits.

But the museum's latest audit is revealing Sci-Port had money issues for the 2013 and 2014 fiscal years. The report found the museum had net losses of of $532,000.00 in 2014 and $928,000.00 in 2013.

Fumarolo says the net loss of 1.5 million over the past two years, isn't telling the whole story about their finances. She says you need to factor in the depreciation or "non-cash" of the net loss.

According to Fumarolo, $674,447 out of the net loss of $532,000 was a non cash item, so the amount with the depreciation taken out translates to being in the black $142,447 for the 2014 fiscal year.

"In 2013 we had a large loss of $928,000 and 668,485 of that was again a non cash item - depreciation which translates to being in the red by $259,525," Fumarolo explained.

"So actual loss during the two years you reported was $117,068 which is 2% loss for those years combined.  We did not have losses of $1.5 of cash that funds operations" she said.

Auditors say the net losses "create uncertainty about Sci-Ports ability to continue as a going concern," which essentially means the museum doesn't have the resources to continue to operate.

"Nobody should panic, all of our visitors are still coming," said Fumarolo and explained the science center is here to stay and while their finances are looking up now, she doesn't blame the auditors for drawing that conclusion.

"Number 1, the auditor has to do it, I totally respect that, because we had two bad years, they can't put their neck out on the line and say boy they are doing great when we have no cash," she said.

As for the losses, she says they had some tough times. The non-profit is still reeling from government cuts six years ago. On top of that, an unpopular exhibit they brought in two years ago, is partly to blame.

"We brought in Titanic [the exhibit] and it sunk. It was a very expensive exhibit, we're kind of scrambling from that," said Fumarolo.

To make up for the 2013 losses, they had to make cuts to programming and employees.

"You get to the point where there is nothing left to cut," Fumarolo explained moving forward, they don't want to make any more cuts.

"I don't think you can cut your way out of these things. I think we have to do such a great job, to bring things in and fund our way out of them," she said.

As for this year, Fumarolo says it is already on track to be better than last year. To try and raise more money, Sci-Port will be hosting their big Mad Scientist Ball every year, instead of every other year, like they were doing before.

The ball this year is on March 7 at 7:00 p.m.. The theme is Monsters, Myth, and Legends. For more information about the ball,

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