News and Press Releases


CONTACT:, 212-513-9323 (Department of Cultural Affairs)

Jennifer Dudley,, 718-273-2060 ext. 150 (Staten Island Children’s Museum)


Upgrades to SICM’s HVAC system will improve visitor comfort, enhance collection preservation, and reduce energy costs

The increased energy efficiency will align with CreateNYC recommendations for sustainability in the cultural sector and NYC’s goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions citywide

New York – The NYC Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA), in partnership with the New York City Council, has allocated $3.1 million in capital funding in the FY19 City capital budget to the Staten Island Children’s Museum (SICM) for improvements that will reduce the institution’s carbon footprint. SICM will upgrade its 40-year-old heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system, increasing operating efficiency and improving visitor experience.

“Climate change represents a tremendous challenge that can only be meaningfully addressed if all of us, including the cultural sector, work together to change how we think about and use energy,” said Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl. “We are happy to provide substantial support to the capital improvements at the Staten Island Children’s Museum, enabling them to contribute to a more sustainable city while demonstrating to their visitors, the youngest New Yorkers, real benefits of energy conservation.”

“The City Council was proud to provide $1.1 million in capital funding for increased sustainability at the Staten Island Children’s Museum, a vital cultural hub for the children and parents of Staten Island,” said Speaker Corey Johnson. “With this funding the Council is supporting cultural institutions, promoting children’s education, and reinforcing our city’s commitment to facing the realities of climate change. This is a win on multiple levels.”

 “The Staten Island Children’s Museum is one of our borough’s cultural jewels. But like many of our institutions, it needs financial support to maintain and upgrade its facilities to ensure it meets the growing needs of our residents. That is why I am proud to have worked with Council Speaker Corey Johnson and my colleagues to allocate $1 million in capital funds, and to add another $100,000 from my own Fiscal Year 2019 capital budget to upgrade the museum’s HVAC system to one that is more reliable, more energy efficient and provides a better experience for visitors,” said NY City Council Minority Leader Steven Matteo.

NY City Councilmember Debi Rose said, “Our commitment to a more sustainable future includes ensuring that all of our buildings are updated to tomorrow’s energy standards. It is especially fitting that we fund this project for the Children’s Museum, because the very children who enjoy the games, artwork and activities of the Staten Island Children’s Museum are the ones whose futures will be made healthier by this investment.”

“The Staten Island Children’s Museum is grateful for this generous donation from the City and from the Staten Island Delegation of the NYC Council, Council Members, Joseph Borelli, Steven Matteo and Debi Rose. As we welcome 200,000 visitors annually from our home borough and beyond, these upgrades will vastly improve their experience at the Museum, whether they are a first-time or frequent visitor,” said Dina Rosenthal, Executive Director of the Staten Island Children’s Museum. “This project moves us further along the path of becoming an even greener institution. We offer diverse and inspiring programs year-round and are proud to serve as a cultural hub in the community. Our visitors will be able to better enjoy the Museum in every season as a result of these improvements.”

NY State Senator Diane Savino said, "The Staten Island Children's Museum has always been a great way for kids to learn in a friendly environment. This improvement will not only create a more efficient building but will also help reduce costs now and it in the future. It is an investment that will help ensure that the museum continues to operate here on Staten Island and I look forward to its completion."

“This project shows our continuing commitment to children, cultural institutions, and the environment, benefitting not only the Staten Island Children’s Museum and its visitors but raising the quality of life for all New Yorkers,” said NY State Assemblymember Matthew Titone.

The project will replace older equipment and include the installation of a Building Management System (BMS), which will automatically control exhibit room temperatures, ensuring that each area is operating as efficiently as possible. Overall, SICM will benefit from greater operating efficiency and improved maintenance of mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) systems. As the museum converts from constant energy use to an 8-10 hour on-demand system, it anticipates reducing its energy consumption by 50%.

The HVAC upgrade will also increase the comfort of SICM’s visitors as they explore the 10 indoor exhibits, art workshop and gallery, and classrooms with improved climate systems that will minimize excessive heating in winter and cooling in summer. The upgrade will also enhance the preservation of exhibit materials and items, including SICM’s live animal collection, through better climate controls.

The $3.1 million total is comprised of $2 million from the Mayor’s Office through DCLA, and $1.1 million contributed by City Council. On top of $1.25 million allocated by the City to this project in FY17, the project is now fully funded with $4.3 million in support from the Mayor’s Office, City Council, and Office of the Borough President.

This project is in alignment with sustainability recommendations in the CreateNYC cultural plan, released by Mayor de Blasio in 2017. The plan asserts that a greener New York City will also be a healthier, more equitable city, and outlines strategies and investments for reducing the carbon footprint of cultural facilities. DCLA has committed to supporting the City’s overall sustainability goals by identifying ways that cultural organizations can reduce carbon emissions and expanding capital funding for projects that decrease energy consumption. The SICM project will help the City meet its goals for reducing greenhouse gases by decreasing waste of resources caused by excessive heating and cooling. These improvements also support the City’s “80 x 50 plan” in OneNYC to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050.


The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) is dedicated to supporting and strengthening New York City’s vibrant cultural life. DCLA works to promote and advocate for quality arts programming and to articulate the contribution made by the cultural community to the City’s vitality. The Department represents and serves nonprofit cultural organizations involved in the visual, literary, and performing arts; public-oriented science and humanities institutions including zoos, botanical gardens, and historic and preservation societies; and creative artists at all skill levels who live and work within the City’s five boroughs. DCLA also provides donated materials for arts programs offered by the public schools and cultural and social service groups, and commissions permanent works of public art at City-funded construction projects throughout the five boroughs. Learn more at


The Staten Island Children’s Museum is located on the grounds of Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Gardens, 1000 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island, NY 10301. The Museum’s summer hours in July and August are Tuesday and Thursday – Sunday from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm and on Wednesday from 10:00 am – 8:00 pm. For more information, call 718-273-2060, email, or visit our website,

The Staten Island Children’s Museum is housed in a building owned by the City of New York and its operation is made possible, in part, with public funds provided through the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs with support from the Staten Island delegation to the NYC Council. Significant operating support is also provided by the NYS Council on the Arts, Corporations, Foundations, the Trustees and Members.