The has announced a $35 million gift from Phillip Frost, chairman of , and his wife, Patricia, for a new building to be located on eight acres in Museum Park.
Designed by renowned , the 250,000-square-foot facility will feature a lushly landscaped indoor and outdoor "living core" comprising terrestrial and aquatic spaces; a 600,000-gallon aquarium; a full-dome 3-D planetarium; and two wings of additional exhibition space, classrooms, and cafes. To date, the museum has raised $60 million in private support and $175 million in county funding toward the $275 million cost of the project. The museum is expected to break ground on the building later this year, with construction scheduled to be completed by the end of 2014.
The Frosts are longtime supporters of education and the arts in the South Florida region. In 2004, they gave $33 million to endow the School of Music at the University of Miami, and they were the lead donors to the campaign to build new facilities for the art museum at Florida International University. Phillip Frost served as chairman and CEO of the IVAX Corporation, a global pharmaceutical company, from 1987 to 2006, when it was acquired by Teva Pharmaceuticals. In recognition of the couple's gift, the science museum will be renamed the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science.
"We believe that providing more opportunities for young students to be exposed to science and technology in an inspiring and educational way can help expand the scientific base of our community," said the couple. "This landmark project will provide unique experiences that can change people's perspective on the potential value of science and technology for their lives. Having already received broad community support, we hope that, with our help, the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science will become known as a cultural institution truly for the people."