Coyote Point plan scrapped

A proposal to remake the Coyote Point Museum into a global warming science exhibition has been withdrawn after a competing group launched a fundraising effort to save the museum.

The 11th Hour Project, based in Silicon Valley, announced Tuesday the withdrawal of its pitch to construct an IMAX theater, upscale organic restaurant and global warming education center on the financially troubled museum’s site.

The 25-year-old museum has run operating deficits into the hundreds of thousands of dollars in each year since 2000, financial records show. Museum officials have said they are looking at other alternatives, including partnerships with other groups.

Representatives for the 11th Hour Project had planned to present a feasibility study of its proposal — outlining the most compatible elements of its plan for Coyote Point — to museum board members at the end of the month. That will not happen now, according to Joe Sciortino, spokesman for 11th Hour, ostensibly leaving museum board members with just one proposal to weigh.

Coyote Point Museum staff and board members declined to comment on the announcement Tuesday, prior to a meeting scheduled for that evening.

“We had a good opportunity for a world-class environmental education center and, for a number of reasons right now, it isn’t going to be feasible,” said county Parks and Recreation Department Director Dave Holland.

San Mateo County Parks acts as the landlord for the three-story, 8,000-square-foot museum, located inside the Coyote Point Recreation Area.

Holland said he hopes 11th Hour Project will still be able to find a suitable location somewhere else in the county, but he isn’t overly optimistic.

“I am disappointed, certainly,” said Board of Supervisors President Jerry Hill said, regarding the decision by 11th Hour to pull out.

The decision was in part based on an adversarial situation that arose after members of the Save Coyote Point Museum group commented that 11th Hour — which is run by the foundation of Google CEO Eric Schmidt — represented outsiders trying to buy their way in.

Now, Hill said he is counting on the grass-roots group, Save Coyote Point Museum — headed by former longtime board member Linda Lanier and former Executive Director Linda Liebes — to pull off their fundraising effort to put the museum on solvent ground.

Save Coyote Point Museum has raised more than $415,000 in three weeks, exceeding its goal of raising $300,000 in a month, Lanier said. Her group will present a proposal to the museum board Sept. 1 for restoring the museum’s financial solvency — including governance changes, overhauling and updating exhibitions and regular fundraising, Lanier said.

With only one proposal now expected to be presented, the board will be able to adopt or reject the plan, officials said.

ecarpenter@examiner.com

businessLocalScience & TechnologyScience and Technology

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Lakeshore Elementary School was closed in March shortly before SFUSD closed all schools due to coronavirus concerns. The district is now working to prepare all elementary schools to reopen by mid-January.<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
School district preparing buildings for hybrid learning

SFUSD plans to use 72 elementary schools and 12 early education sites for first phase of reopening

There have been at least 142 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among workers at San Francisco International Airport. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Supes back SFO worker healthcare legislation despite airline, business opposition

Costs of ‘Health Airport Ordinance’ in dispute, with estimates ranging from $8.4 M to $163 M annually

Thankfully, playgrounds that were closed due to the pandemic during the summer have reopened.<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
The perils of parenting, COVID-style

At long last, it’s OK to take your little one out to play

Ten candidates are running for a seat on the Board of Trustees of the San Francisco Community College District.. (Courtesy photos)
Strong leadership needed as City College faces multiple crises

Ten candidates vying for four seats on CCSF board

City officials closed San Francisco County Jail No. 4 on the top floor of the Hall of Justice at 850 Bryant St. in September, reducing the number of beds in the jail system by about 400. 
Kevin N. Hume/
S.F. Examiner
SF jail closure prompts doctor to call for release of more inmates

Reduced space increases risk of COVID-19 spreading among those in custody

Most Read