Smithsonian Fiscal Year 2008 Federal Budget Request Totals $678.4 Million
The administration’s FY 2008 budget request to Congress is $678.4 million, an increase from the $634.9 million allocated to the Institution in FY 2007. The salaries and expenses budget request for FY 2008 is $571.3 million and the facilities capital budget is $107.l million.
The Salaries and Expenses account covers the mandated federal pay raise, rents and utilities, salaries and benefits, utilities, travel, routine maintenance, security and other operating expenses. The Facilities Capital account includes construction, renovations or revitalizations, and planning and design.
Salaries and Expenses
Among the S&E changes in the FY 2008 request are an increase of more than $20 million to cover the mandatory costs of legislated pay raises, utilities, rents and an additional $1.4 million for security requirements to include improved security screening for staff and contractors and more stringent identification badge systems.
The FY 2008 budget request also includes an additional $9.9 million for planning and staffing of the Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture, which will be located on the National Mall near the Washington Monument (15th Street and Constitution Avenue N.W.).
The FY 2008 Facilities Capital has no significant new construction projects but does include $10 million for alterations to Pod 3 at the Museum Support Center in Suitland, Md. When completed, the huge storage building or “pod” will provide space for anthropology and art collections, as well as other artifacts that require special environmental conditions.
Most of the Facilities Capital funds for FY 2008 are directed toward revitalization, essentially the repair or replacement of building systems that have been delayed for many years. Among the major revitalization projects scheduled this year are National Museum of Natural History ($22.5 million for heating and air conditioning replacements, renovation of exhibition halls and replacement of elevators and air towers); the National Zoological Park ($18.8 million—$9 million of which is for the Asia Trail II: a new elephant habitat and trails and the remaining funds are for upgraded fire protection systems and structural repairs); and the National Air and Space Museum ($8.5 million for electrical systems).
The Smithsonian has operated its greenhouses on land that has been leased from the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Northwest Washington. The area is scheduled for redevelopment and, as a result, the Smithsonian will have to find a new location for its horticultural operations. A new facility, supported by $2.8 million in FY 2008, will be built near the Museum Support Center.
An additional $22 million has been requested for a variety of other revitalization projects, along with $14.5 million for planning and design.
A budget summary for the FY 2008 and FY 2007 requests follows:
|Fiscal Year 2007 Request||Fiscal Year 2008 Request|
|Salaries and Expenses (S&E)||$536,295,000||$571,347,000|
| Faciliites Capital |