SPRINGFIELD – Opening of the National Museum of Surveying in downtown Springfield, scheduled for this summer, will be delayed because of a drop-off in donations.

Bob Church, executive director of the Illinois Professional Land Surveyor’s Association, blamed the decline on the faltering economy. Officials with the museum are pursuing other funding sources, including grants, he said.

The association has raised about $1.2 million for the project, but needs an additional $200,000 to complete the museum’s exhibits.

Part of the history of surveying includes three American presidents - George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln - who all worked as surveyors.

Initially, museum officials wanted to have the building open for the summer tourist season so they could capitalize on the celebration of Lincoln’s 200th birthday.

However, individual surveyors and surveying associations across the country were important contributors to the museum, and surveyors been hit hard by the recession, Church said.

State Journal-Register