The Salt Lake City Council has granted The Leonardo a two-month extension to sell naming rights to help close the funding gap for the arts, culture and science center.

Mary Tull, executive director for The Leonardo, said the city-imposed June 1 deadline to find a donor or sponsor for the former Salt Lake City library building has been pushed back to Aug. 1.

"We've been so very happy that the city has worked with us," Tull said Wednesday. "The naming rights effort is progressing quite well, but these things take time. Our schedule isn't necessarily the same as donors' schedules."

Tull said The Leonardo has seen some "good proposals," and museum officials remain hopeful that naming rights will be sold.

In February, city officials and representatives of The Leonardo presented to the City Council a plan to close the funding gap to renovate the building on the corner of 500 South and 200 East, and it included selling the naming rights for a target price of $5 million to $8 million.

The Leonardo needs another $5.5 million to renovate the building. The city already has committed $13.6 million to the museum, including a $10.2 million general-obligation bond approved by Salt Lake City voters in 2003. The bond carried with it a requirement that the museum find a matching $10 million in outside donations for programming, which museum officials say has been secured.

The current price tag for The Leonardo project is $19.1 million.

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