Pratt celebrates $900,000 grant

From 5 to 7 p.m. today, the Pratt Museum holds an event celebrating a $900,000 grant it received in the state capital budget. The money will give a major boost to the museum’s capital funding campaign for a new museum building. 

The outdoor celebration includes refreshments and music by the Homer Ukulele Group. Invited guests include Sen. Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, Rep. Paul Seaton, R-Homer, Homer Mayor Beth Wythe and the city council, and Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Mike Navarre and borough assembly members.

The Pratt grant is part of $4.8 million in capital projects House District 30 received, according to a list from Seaton’s office. Topping the list is $1.4 million for Waddell Way road improvements to connect the Sterling Highway and Lake Street by the post office. Other major projects funded are $380,000 to repair the Tall Tree Bridge, $350,000 for the Homer Sheet Pile Loading Dock, $350,000 for Homer Volunteer Fire Department equipment upgrades and $250,000 for Kachemak Emergency Services for an aerial ladder truck.

For department capital project funding, the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities received $1.5 million for Homer Ferry Terminal improvements and the Kachemak Bay Campus received $70,000 for natural gas conversions and $120,000 for deferred maintenance.

For the Pratt Museum, with the $900,000 grant, it has raised $3.3 million and still needs to raise $6.2 million for its building. State funding also will provide incentive to other grant organizations looking for state support for the project.

Museum Director Diane Converse thanked Micciche and Seaton for ranking the Pratt high in the capital budget bill.

“And thank you to our local city council and mayor for having the vision to add their resolution of unanimous support to the application package last year,” Converse said.

Development director Michele Miller also thanked honorary Capital Campaign co-chair Clem Tillion for his voluntary lobbying during the legislative session.

Michael Armstrong can be reached at