SAINT LOUIS, MO.- The Saint Louis Art Museum
announces major milestones after nearly six months of construction on the more than 200,000-square-foot, David Chipperfield-designed expansion in Forest Park. Site excavation and the foundation for the underground parking garage are complete and infrastructural work will allow for internal moves later this summer.
Foundation walls for the parking garage will start to take shape in the coming weeks, said Peter Clarkson, senior project manager for the RISE Group, the project manager for the Museums expansion. We will begin referring to the parking garage as a structure instead of an excavation site.
The general contracting team of Tarlton/Pepper/KAI (TPK) began excavating in December 2009 by removing earth and large sections of rock. The rock was crushed and used as the base for the new expansion. The excavation itself resulted in the removal of more than 85,000 cubic yards of earth.
Two tower cranes arrived on the construction site in early April. The south crane is the largest; weighing in at 40,000 pounds and measuring 186 feet tall, literally towering over the Art Museum. Both cranes are expected be in place until early 2011.
Behind the scenes, infrastructural changes have been made to accommodate a new, secure staff entrance and security suite, expected to open this summer.
The Museums construction project involves all building trades and 24 different crafts generating an estimated 200 jobs.
These are good jobs for St. Louis, and reflect diversity, expertise and community involvement, said Tracy Hart, president of Tarlton Corp.
The Museum announced the public phase of its $145 million Campaign for the Saint Louis Art Museum on January 19, 2010. Artist and entrepreneur Mary Engelbreit is the chair of the public phase. The $130.5 million project, along with a supporting endowment of $31.2 million, is being underwritten by private philanthropy, foundation support and proceeds from the sale of tax exempt bonds. While tax proceeds continue to provide critical annual support for the Museums operations, no tax funds will be used for the expansion.
The overall expansion represents a 30 percent increase in the Museums gallery and public space, and will more than double its prior parking capacity. The Museum will remain open to the public during construction, which is anticipated to take approximately two years.