The Exploratorium is now undergoing an extensive recalibration and reorganization of our activities brought about by actual attendance revenues being lower than budgetary forecasts since opening in April at Pier 15.
- Attendance figures (see chart) have been 5,000 to 6,000 per day. Although more than twice the level of our previous location, attendance revenues have been below our estimates and forecasts both in numbers and in revenue per visitor.
- We are making budget adjustments, reorganization decisions, reducing headcount by 34 full-time positions, and reducing hours for another 8 positions.
- Some reductions will come from voluntary early retirement opportunities, for those who qualify, and the rest through layoffs. At this time, 10 staff members have elected to participate in an early retirement offer.
- 33 seasonal positions are also ending in September.
- The new FY14 budget supports approximately 350 full-time equivalent positions. This compares to the 275 we had at the Palace of Fine Arts prior to our expansion in preparation for the move.
We expect that the measures we plan to undertake will be fully implemented by the end of the year. Employee briefings on plans and objectives started the week of August 11 and will continue over the next several weeks. Distribution of separation notices was completed by Friday, August 16.
Every employee contributed to the Exploratorium’s move and opening, and we will truly miss and hold in high regard all those who will be leaving. Qualified former employees will be considered first for any future job openings.
We are an institution and a community of and about the future. Our vision is to change the way the world learns. We will move ahead the way we always have: with curiosity, excitement, and enthusiasm. We believe that, as hard as this process will be, we will emerge from the resizing and restructuring stronger and able to continue our mission to create a culture of learning through innovative environments, programs, and tools that help people nurture their curiosity about the world around them.
Please let us know your questions or comments. We look forward to hearing from you.
– Dennis Bartels, Exploratorium Executive Director