Science center eligible for $40,000 in matching donations

Donations from residents will help build new campus

Prince William Sound Science Center’s harborside facility. (Dec 27, 2019) Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith/The Cordova Times
Prince William Sound Science Center’s harborside facility. (Dec 27, 2019) Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith/The Cordova Times

Prince William Sound Science Center will receive up to $40,000 in matching donations to help fund its new campus, officials say.

Former resident Meera Kohler and retired fishing industry executive John Garner have committed to match donations from individuals and small businesses in Cordova, said Katrina Hoffman, president and CEO of PWSSC.

In December, PWSSC mailed fundraising letters to all Cordova boxholders. Since then, PWSSC has received over $17,000 in donations eligible for matching, Hoffman said.

“Over the holidays, the donations have been steadily rolling in,” Hoffman said. “But let’s not leave any money on the table — let’s get to 40 and turn it into 80.”

PWSSC has hired Rich Rogers, former Cordova director of public workers, as project manager. Rogers previously worked on the construction of the Cordova Center. Though harsh weather may pose a challenge, Rogers is optimistic that the campus will be completed by its December 2021 deadline.

“We’re just getting started,” Rogers said. “But it appears to be doable, as long as we have no tsunami or major earthquake, and we get people working as a team.”

The process of reviewing design proposals and selecting a designer for the facility is almost concluded, Hoffman said.

Donations to support the construction can be made online, by mail or in person at PWSSC’s facility at the edge of Cordova Harbor.

“Every gift of any size matters, and I would love to blow this goal out of the water by far surpassing it,” Hoffman said.

The new campus will replace a group of facilities scattered around the Cordova area. Research at PWSSC’s principal facility is currently hampered by cramped laboratory space and other limitations.