Finger Lakes Museum Adds Staff, Previews Designers

Thirty­-five architectural, engineering, and exhibit design teams from across the U.S. and Canada presented qualification submissions in the first stage of a competition to design the Finger Lakes Museum. The submission deadline was October 1st.

On September 14th executive director John Adamski and project director Don Naetzker hosted 70 design professionals from 60 firms at the museum’s future site in Keuka Lake State Park.

The meeting was followed by a request for qualifications, which is the first step in selecting a design team. “Because of the complexity of the project, a team approach makes sense”, said Adamski, who is also president of the museum’s board of trustees and a retired architect. “It’s unlikely that any single firm would possess all of the design disciplines in­-house that are needed for a project like this”, he added.

The museum’s facilities committee will evaluate each of the submissions in order to narrow the field to a maximum of 5 frontrunners. Those firms would then be asked to submit proposals, which would include design concepts. It is hoped that a design team can be onboard before the end of the year.

In other Finger Lakes Museum news, the board of trustees recently hired Natalie Payne as the startup organization’s third employee. She was formerly acting curator at Sonnenberg Gardens in Canandaigua and will serve as associate project director working with executive director, John Adamski, and project director, Don Naetzker.

Adamski and Naetzker were hired by the board last May to develop plans for building the Finger Lakes Museum in Keuka Lake State Park. Payne has been involved with the project since its inception. She has been a museum board member since August 2008 and still serves as its secretary.

Adamski said, “Hiring Natalie is possible because of the early success of our Founders Campaign, which is a grass roots effort to raise the funds we need to hire personnel and equip our offices at the school in Branchport.”

Anyone can become a museum founder for $100 or more by logging on to their website and making a contribution. “We have momentum but we need all of the help we can get to keep it going” Adamski said. He has donated his own 2010 salary back to the project.

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