Shreveport City Council allows management change at Sci-Port

Council green lights Sci-Port management change
Updated: Jul. 10, 2018 at 10:31 PM CDT
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It's official. Sci-Port Discovery Center will get new management.

It came after financial struggles with the current management as well as the closure and partial reopening of Sci-Port.

With a unanimous vote and very little discussion, Shreveport City Council members gave the green light Tuesday to Red River STEM to take over Sci-Port.

The proposed management change was announced last month pending the City Council's approval.

A cooperative endeavor agreement with Red River STEM will go into effect Aug. 1.

For now, the Community Foundation of North Louisiana is acting as fiscal agent for Red River STEM while it works to get tax-exempt status with the IRS.

"We're super pleased," Community Foundation Executive Director Kristi Gustavson said after the council's vote.

"Sci-Port is obviously a really important resource for the community, not only for educating children about STEM but also an economic driver for folks that visit this area."

The first priority is getting together a new board then hiring an executive director.

Attorney Jay Pierson already has agreed to serve as board chairman.

The Community Foundation also has approached Caddo School District about having a non-voting member on the board.

"Just to make sure that that board will be up to date relative to the curriculum for Caddo Parish students," Gustavson explained.

There's been a lot of community support for the new deal, she added.

The Downtown Development Authority is among the supporters.

Its executive director, Liz Swaine, thinks the new deal will make Sci-Port fiscally stable and keep it downtown for years to come.

She said she's excited to see what's in store for the venue.

"Just giving everyone a level of security that has been missing for several years is going to make all the difference in the world for this valuable resource on our riverfront."

Power of Play and Imax remain open at Sci-Port.

It's too early to tell when Sci-Port might fully reopen and what changes may be in store, Gustavson said.

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