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Art Institute, Museum of Science and Industry pursue rate hikes

Updated: February 17, 2013 6:37AM



The Art Institute of Chicago would like to raise admission fees by as much as $5 and the Museum of Science and Industry would hike entry fees by as much as $3 in the coming weeks, under a proposal laid out in city documents.

A series of general admission increases at the Museum of Science and Industry are “necessary to offset ... lower revenues and higher operating expenses,” according to Chicago Park District documents detailing the increases. Both museums sit on parkland, necessitating a park board vote on the matter; the board of commissioners is expected act on the measure during Wednesday’s meeting. The hike would be the first increase since January 2010.

The Art Institute, which hasn’t seen a price increase in about four years, needs to hike its admission price to help pay city bills including water, sewer and construction permit fees that were “previously ... waived by the city,” according to city documents. The Art Institute also needs more money to cover staff raises of 2.5 percent.

Those living outside of Illinois would see the biggest jump — $5 — in admission to the Art Institute with students, with students and seniors paying $17 and adult admission going up to $23, according to the park district.

Children under 14 would continue to get in for free. But Chicago residents would see rates go up by $2, with seniors and students paying $12 and adults $18, according to the proposal. Illinois residents would see their rates go up by $2, too, to $14 for seniors and students and $20 for adults.

If approved, the fee increase would kick in Feb. 1.

At the Museum of Science and Industry, general admission costs would go up the most, at $3, for adults and seniors living outside the city. Adults would pony up $18 and senior citizens would pay $17 under the proposal.

Children ages 3 to 11 would see admission go up a $1 to $11.

For city residents, a $2 increase means Chicago seniors would be paying $14 and adults $15, under the planned hike.

Admission for children ages 3 to 11 would go up by $1, to $10.

Any child under the age of 3 gets in free.

The admission fee increases, if approved, would have kicked in Thursday, but late in the day the park district announced the start date would be Jan. 23 – next week.

The park district administration is recommending the park board approve the admission fee increases, which the museums formally requested in recent weeks, according to a park official. But details of those increases were not made public until Tuesday.

Representatives of Art Institute and Museum of Science and Industry said they’ll respond to questions about admission fee increases at Wednesday’s park board meeting.



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