A Charlotte corporation is preparing to make a major donation to the planned Museum of Life and the Environment.
The group's donation will be made official in an announcement at 10 a.m. Monday at the York County Regional Chamber of Commerce office, 116 E. Main St., Rock Hill. But until then, the details are top secret.
"It's a major gift -- a seven-figure corporate donation," said Sig Huitt, whose company, Carolina Public Relations, handles publicity for the museum.
Huitt declined to identify the donor.
Van Shields, chief executive of the Culture and Heritage Museums, also declined to comment when reached Friday.
The planned museum will be set on a 40-acre riverfront parcel just west of Interstate 77 on Sutton Road in Fort Mill Township. It's billed as "a new kind of museum experience (that) will actively bring natural and cultural history together," according to the museums' Web site.
It will tell the story of the Carolina Piedmont through the people, plants and animals that have lived here. Among the experiences will be a river walk, naturalist center, planetarium, auditorium and restaurant featuring local foods. A watershed exhibit will include aquariums and aquatic life dioramas with live otters, fish and turtles, according to the Web site.
The project has been in the planning stages for years since Jane Spratt McColl gave the museums close to 400 acres along Sutton Road. It suffered a financial setback last year when a $10 million challenge grant was rescinded by the family of Maurice Stans after the death of Stans' oldest son, Stephen Stans.
Maurice Stans, a former Nixon White House official, donated a collection of stuffed African animals to the Museum of York County decades ago. The Stans family has been a supporter of MYCO ever since.
Shields said earlier this year the family still plans to offer some financial support for the new museum, but it will be significantly less than the initial $10 million.
Museum officials launched a public fundraising campaign at the beginning of this year. The new donation will bring the museum closer to its $50 million goal. It expects to raise approximately $20 million from the development of the property surrounding the new museum.