California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park

California Academy of Sciences. © 2008 Tim Griffith


SAN FRANCISCO, CA (March 7, 2024) — The California Academy of Sciences, a museum and science institution in Golden Gate Park, refinanced $281.5 million of debt this week amid extremely high demand from investors who cited support for the Academy’s mission to regenerate the natural world.

Attracting $3.8 billion in orders from 51 investors, the Academy’s five-year sustainable bonds were oversubscribed by over 13 times. Eight investors submitted orders for the entire $281.5 million. The strong demand resulted in a 3.25% fixed interest rate, beating initial pricing expectations by 25 basis points.

The bonds were issued to refinance the construction costs for the Academy’s LEED Platinum building, which opened in 2008.

“As our planet faces a cascade of crises, including rampant biodiversity loss and a warming climate, it’s inspiring to see that the Academy’s regeneration mission resonates with the investment community,” said Scott Sampson, PhD, executive director of the California Academy of Sciences. “This very successful bond refinancing is a testament not only to the importance of the Academy’s commitment to regenerate the natural world, but also to San Francisco’s position as a vibrant, world-class city with beloved cultural institutions like the Academy.”

The Academy is the only institution in the world with an aquarium, natural history museum, rainforest, planetarium, and pioneering biodiversity research all under one living roof. The Academy, which will celebrate its 171st anniversary April 4, attracts more than 1 million visitors from around the world each year.

“We are honored to work with an institution doing such important work for the state of California, while also captivating visitors from the Bay Area with educational programs,” said Doug Brown, co-head of higher education and nonprofit in Wells Fargo’s Municipal Products Group, which managed the bond issue

About the California Academy of Sciences

The California Academy of Sciences is a renowned scientific and educational institution with a mission to regenerate the natural world through science, learning, and collaboration. Based in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, it is home to a world-class aquarium, planetarium, and natural history museum, as well as innovative programs in scientific research and environmental education—all under one living roof. Museum hours are 9:30 am – 5:00 pm Monday – Saturday, and 11:00 am – 5:00 pm on Sunday. Admission includes all exhibits, programs, and shows. For daily ticket prices, please visit or call (415) 379-8000 for more information.

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