Resurrecting COSI in 2008 Category: Development

In a previous post, Mailman Chuck suggested that we all resolve to do something positive in the new year. So, here goes:
Let's Resurrect COSI! How ? By canvasing the entire Lake Erie West region for $5.- per family to keep Science/Technology a viable educational opportunity for our young people (and older ones too).
As the Universities work on Technology Corridors, closing a science museum sends the wrong message to the outside world. So, what to do?
Read the January issue of Mature Living Magazine:"Saving COSI for our Kids"
Make arrangements to visit the Scott Park Campus of UT to see the 17 Alternative Energy Exhibits that could be made part of a Resurrected COSI.
Join the students of Sylvania Southview High School who have created a group on Facebook.com to collect $5.- per family to resurrect COSI.(This replaces a group formed to Save COSI which grew to more than 680 members).
Get involved! Encourage everyone you know to make a $5.- donation to the Toledo Community Foundation at toledocf.com for Resurrecting COSI (more would be nice!).
Conact Marcy Kaptur for her to include the Maumee Watershed development project in the newly resurrected COSI.
Put on your thinking caps!! What else can we include in a resurrected COSI as we make the transition from blue collar to green collar activity?

No votes yet

I think that there needs to be some solid assurance that the people set to spend those $5 donations will spend them right and that next year we won't have to have COSI begging for a tax levy to operate.
Personally I'd also need some assurance that COSI would updated regularly, that special engagements would be had like they do at the science museum in Detroit.
I visited our COSI three times, several years apart and found no real differnce, no reason at all to want to join and/or come back repeatedly

One of the greater arguments against COSI is it's use of a prime location on the river. Many people want that area to return to it's original use, something like Portside Marketplace.

Perhaps if COSI was located at another location, support would increase for it's survival. Erie Street Market would be an excellent fit, and that relocation could cure a number of significant problems;

1. Portside Marketplace could return to a downtown that may be more ready for it than in previous years.

2. COSI could have it's parking problem cured as there is plenty of parking at ESM, especially for a schoolbus. Schoolchildren may be the primary users of COSI anyway.

3. This move would give the 'FINK with the BIG EGO' an 'out' for the failure of ESM. He could stop beating that dead horse and his TOLEDO PRIDE could remain intact.

All educational outlets should have partnered with COSI a long time ago. Tell me again why there ISN'T a B-level thesis course offered to Physics students at UT, where a team of students has to design and build a science display for COSI? THAT would ensure COSI would have a fairly steady stream of exhibits, which would attract customers AND patronage.

I was in a Physics program in another state. I KNOW there MUST be some sort of "project" course as a part of UT's various science programs. Why didn't COSI's so-called leadership TAP into that creative energy?

Answer: Since they relied on public funding sources that didn't require them to do actual work. Toledo's union mentality wins again!

All this "tiny kingdom" shit must stop for Toledo. At a minimum, UT, the TPS, and COSI can be leveraging each other's resources into a larger creation. Of course, they'd have to take small risks and then share in the results.

And the best thing about such partnership? NO TAXPAYER HAS TO FOOT THE BILL. All these institutions can rely on themselves and their ability to partner.

WHADDAYA THINK A' THAT, LEW?!?!

i'm afraid we donate money to keep it open, and next year there will be a levy. i also agree that they don't change it much. i have 3 kids ages 20 months, 4 and 8, and we went maybe once a year. i didn't see much difference from year to year. they need to work on changing it up a bit if it did reopen....

I believe COSI will return in the next year or so, and I believe it will be stronger than ever. The twice-defeated levy is the best thing that could have happened to COSI because it forces them to adapt their business model to one that cannot depend on the government for its finances. Sometimes hitting "rock-bottom" is what is needed for an institution to remain viable long-term.

There are almost limitless opportunities for COSI to team up with local resources. UT and TPS have already been mentioned, but there is also a possible partnership with local corporations that are heavily involved in engineering, design, and science (Dana, OI, OC, Libby Glass, Jeep, all the hospitals, and the burgeoning solar industry companies). If each one of those institutions decided to provide funding and support for a single display in their field then COSI would be hopping. Maybe Dana could develop a display of the way transmissions, catalytic converters, or alternators work. OC could develop a display about high efficiency houses and buildings. Libbey could develop a display that discusses glass manufacturing. OI could develop a display that highlights robotics in manufacturing. The hospitals could team up to develop a series of displays about the human body and medicine. The solar companies could team up to design a display about solar panels and alternative energy. Jeep and Chrysler could design a display about gasoline, hybrid, and hydrogen cars.

The opportunities are endless, but the would never have been developed if COSI had won the levy because they would have relied on that levy without any need to improve.

i agree with the levy being a good kick in the butt to get them to find another way to fund it, that's if it reopens, but didn't companies sponsor the exhibits anyway? i love your enthusiasm heyhey, i hope someone bites on your ideas and starts taking some of your suggestions. :)

Won't do much. That might help sustain COSI for a few months, maybe even a year, but then it will be in exactly the same boat it is in. And now, the cost to reopen will be significant. Huge, in fact. New staff would have to be hired. Significant training. If the exhibits have gone through a closing procedure, they'll have to be all inspected and refurbished. Moving, if that is in the works, would be a significant cost as well. You can't just pick up and move their stuff - it'd be millions to move and retrofit a new place, and build exhibits that work in a aa new space.

Perhaps if the $5 donations were guaranteed over a span of 5 years, to ensure revenue to sustain until other plans could be made? And then, it wouldn't be $5, because that only works if everyone contributes, so it would have to be significantly more...

COSI DID tap into the Universities and school districts heavily. As for University students making exhibits, that is not their expertise and a recipe for a massive failure. Unless they make the types of displays that they are used to - hands-off pieces for scientific conferences, or moderated pieces for competitions. And those aren't the kinds of things that would help refresh a COSI - you'd either end up with a bunch of broken exhibits, or a bunch of text/graphical displays, like you find on University campuses. COSI did have students and staff participate in brainstorming and content pieces, though - my class helped participate in one, and I had friends who helped out on a couple of weekend events. All-in-all, pretty fun!

Whatever the solution is, it has to include significant investitures of capital, and be set-up with a certain amount of longevity. Perhaps a University stepping in and moving the museum on-campus. TPS carving out space in the district to create a museum/school hybrid. Maybe all of the exhibits become coin-operated, like good 'ole arcades ;) Whatever it is, you can bet that unless something significant happens, all of the expertise and physical assets of COSI will leave this city and head to other cities with extant science museums.

and keep thinking as comments are made.
Read Tom Brady's letter in the Blade Reader's Forum on Dec. 5th. He thinks we can sell naming rights to a large corporation for $300,000.
Read Jerry Jakes' letter in the Blade Reader's Forum on Dec. 30th. He suggests selling shared naming rights to local corporations involved in alternative energy initiatives: Owens Corning; First Solar; the Andersons; and others.

The important thing to remember is that a resurrected Cosi is/will be a regional asset. As such, the entire region will be reponsible for keeping it afloat. The entire region has more than 2 million inhabitants. So, what's the problem?

lew

???

Not to be a jerk, but why is COSI considered to be such a valuable regional asset? What considerations make this so important?

What does donating $5/ family do for this place? How many corporations do you see ponying up $300,000 for a donation?

Honestly, if it were so valuable to the community, you'd think it would be capable of surviving on its own. Throwing some donations COSI's way seems to be a band-aid approach.

Until our downtown becomes alive, COSI is loser's bet.

I bet there wouldn't be a problem with corporate donations if COSI were located in one of these cities.

Sorry, but COSI should or should have just charged a dollar or 5 dollars more at the door. Not come to me "The Home Owner" for it. No More Taxes !

But first,postal, which came first, the chicken or the egg? A resurected COSI would be one more downtown attraction to attract people from the entire region.

And, ARealAmerican, if we must go after taxpayer's money, why tax only Lucas County Residents? They would have had to pay $5.71 per $100,000 valuation. If we had taxed all of the counties in the region, it would have amounted to pennies on the dollar.

But, Guest Zero, you did hit the nail on the head! The Chinese cities are not cities, they are regions. This is true not only in China, but also in the rest of the world. But, not in the USA. We only have two regions that can compete effectively in the global marketplace: Silicon Valley and The Research Triangle in North Carolina. And, here we sit with in the center of the North American Continent with all of the advantages our geography affords us, and we continue to put barbed wire fences around our city boundaries, and county lines!

Every one should click on Guest Zero's "one of these cities" and read in detail what they consist of. That is what's happening in the rest of the world, and that is what our kids and grandkids will be competing with.

lew

I think you and other COSI supporters overvalue this place and its positive impact in this area (or even downtown). If it were so valuable, COSI would be open today because of their admission and membership monies. It shouldn't be open because of another tax forced upon area residents.

I still haven't heard a good response from any COSI supporters to my question "what makes COSI so valuable to the area?"

Lastly, Lew, do you really think voters outside of Lucas would approve any levy for this place?

I used the term "divestiture" to title my posting, Lew. Aren't you curious as to why I used that word?

"Divestiture" meant that American companies would RATHER make investments overseas, perhaps in a COSI in some Chinese industrial region, since they place greater hope in the development of Chinese workers OVER American ones. Offshoring increased dramatically after 911, which only shows that American companies have given up on their native land ... and that means American laborers.

There's more than enough corporate money flowing around to ensure a thriving COSI-esque environment can exist in Toledo. But once again -- as I never tire of pointing out -- Toledo's and LC's corporations are more interested in planning overseas adventures. They do still require the Ugly American to buy their products and services, but the companies have long seen a way out of ever hiring the same ugliness to perform the labor in the first place.

In short, this is a Roman Empire sort of problem. The center gets bread and circuses ("cartycuses"?), whereas fundamental economic expansion takes place in the outlier territories.

As for regionalism, that's merely how the starving inner cities can continue to steal tax revenue. Lucas County would be better off rezoning itself into a donut, with the hole forming Ohio's 89th county: Toledo County. Then, the People's Socialist Paradise of Toledo can slump into its own decay with no legal route of theft open to it.

OK

Ok first off COSI was a downtown attraction and didn't attract.

Secondly, why should any Lucas County resident donate $5 when all they have to do is donate the twine that's laying around for my twine ball? I've already proved a large twine ball will bring in more people.

Thirdly, if you think the other counties will pay for something that no one goes to then you should lay off the wacky tabacky.

"Drunk, fat, and stupid is no way to go through life son." - Dean Wormer.

MikeyA

MikeyA

Egg came first !

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