Schenectady County

Observatory to sever ties with Schenectady Museum

The Dudley Observatory will sever ties with the Schenectady Museum in a dispute involving the museum
PHOTOGRAPHER:

The Dudley Observatory will sever ties with the Schenectady Museum in a dispute involving the museum’s proposed $72-million science center on Broadway.

Officials of the observatory also said the 156-year-old institution may move out of the county.

“We are severing our relationship with the museum, although we will continue to do education programs with them,” said Samuel C. Wait Jr., president of the observatory’s Board of Trustees.

“We will not co-locate with them and we did not give them permission to use our name for fund-raising purposes,” he said.

The board’s executive committee is reviewing a letter announcing the split, Wait said. The letter will go to Neil Levine, president of the museum’s Board of Trustees.

Wait said the board is upset with Levine for suggesting in an April 6 article in The Sunday Gazette that the proposed science center would contain the observatory and the Challenger Learning Center. Levine said the three institutions would make the science center a world-class facility.

“Frankly, we were surprised when the article showed up,” Wait said.

Levine said he has letters from observatory officials indicating their interest to relocate from Nott Terrace to the proposed facility and granting the museum permission to use the Dudley name for fund-raising purposes.

“It is likely a misunderstanding,” he said.

Levine and Wait plan to meet Wednesday to discuss the situation. Wait said he does not expect the meeting will change the board’s position, however.

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