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MOSH Expansion Plans Takes Step Forward With Donation

As this rendering illustrates, the MOSH's new entrance will face the St. Johns River.
As this rendering illustrates, the MOSH's new entrance will face the St. Johns River.

Jacksonville's Museum of Science & History (MOSH) is a step closer to its goal of raising $20 million to expand and enhance the Southbank museum next to Friendship Fountain.

The C. Herman and Mary Virginia Terry Foundation has committed to the campaign what the museum called a “significant contribution.”

The museum declined to reveal the size of the gift at the request of the donor, but spokeswoman Natalie DeYoung told WJCT News Thursday afternoon, “I can say that the gift is substantial.”

Although the amount hasn’t been revealed, it is large enough to prompt the museum to honor the foundation’s namesakes through the naming of the C. Herman and Mary Virginia Terry Education Center, which is a prominent component of the museum’s plans.

MOSH said the donation reflects Mary Virginia Terry's "exemplary record of philanthropic support for children’s education initiatives, Northeast Florida’s cultural institutions and Downtown development."

The Terrys have a longstanding connection to the MOSH, dating back to the 1980s, when the late C. Herman Terry served on the museum’s board of trustees. 

“As far back as when Herman sat on the Board of Trustees, I have seen MOSH positively impact the children of our community as well as their families. It brings me great joy to know that generations of lifelong learners will benefit from educational experiences through MOSH’s vision for the future,” said Mary Virginia Terry in an email to WJCT News.

“The C. Herman and Mary Virginia Terry Education Center will be one of the most active areas within the Museum. It will serve as a place of enrichment where guests of all ages can be curious, explore and learn, said Bruce Fafard, interim CEO of MOSH, in the same email.

Other major commitments the museum has received this year for its MOSH 2.0 capital campaign include $500,000 from PNC Bank for early learning initiatives, which will include a series of activity videos produced in conjunction with WJCT Public Media, and a $2.5 million donation from VyStar Credit Union to go toward interactive exhibits.

The museum plans to expand from 77,000 square feet to 120,000, with a goal of breaking ground in 2023. Other new features are expected to include a cafe on Friendship Park, a rooftop conference center and additional event space.