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Board Approves CMA Expansion Project

CLEVELAND, OHIO.- The Cleveland Museum of Art, home of one of the world’s most important encyclopedic art collections, announced Monday night that its Board of Trustees voted unanimously to move forward with its renovation and expansion project by approving the first construction milestone, which will total $160 million. The Board also announced that the Museum already had raised $116.5 million of the amount necessary to complete the first milestone, and that the advance funding stage of the campaign will continue through the groundbreaking date set for September.

The $116.5 million exceeds the $100 million attainment mark the Board in 2004 said was necessary to begin.

The entire project is currently estimated to cost $258 million, somewhat more than the original estimate of $225 million. The increased cost is due primarily to increased raw material costs and inflation attributable to an elongated construction schedule.

“The vision, leadership, and certainly the generosity of the Museum’s Board of Trustees have made this building project, one of the most ambitious in the city’s history, a reality,” Cleveland Museum of Art Director Katharine Lee Reid said. “Not only does this exciting endeavor serve to preserve and enhance a world-class treasure, it also will positively impact the local and regional economy, and help to reinvigorate the local marketplace.” Project construction alone could infuse as much as $80 million into the local market.

The new museum, designed by acclaimed architect Rafael Viñoly, will feature CMA’s two historic architectural landmarks, the 1916 Beaux Arts Building and the 1971 Breuer Building, both of which will be completely renovated. Two additions, one east wing and one west wing, will round out the new facility, with the new design featuring a 34,000 sq. ft. piazza at the center of the structure. The piazza features a soaring glass canopy that unifies the Museum’s campus with vibrant, light filled spaces. The expansion and renovation will increase the overall size of the Museum to 588,000 sq. ft., including 36,000 sq. ft. more gallery space. The new Museum also will include additional parking, totaling 650 spaces.

The first Board-approved milestone of the project, expected to be completed by 2008, includes the renovation of the Museum’s landmark 1916 Beaux Arts and 1971 Breuer buildings, the construction of a new East wing, which will house the new special exhibition gallery, and the installation of new mechanical and electrical systems. The Breuer Building will be completely rededicated to its original purpose, education, and will include the Life Long Learning Center. Two-thirds of the first milestone is renovation, one-third is expansion.

The second milestone of the project, also subject to board approval at the time that construction bids are ready to be let, includes the demolition of the Museum’s 1958 and 1983 buildings, the construction of the West wing, staff offices and the Piazza. This final portion of the project will be completed by 2011.

“The scope and vision of this project have remained the same throughout the design phase,” Board Chairman Michael J. Horvitz said. He added that the increased project cost is attributed primarily to increases in market prices for materials—steel and cement—during this period, and an elongated construction schedule. “We are confident that we have met or exceeded the objectives laid out by our trustees in the Museum’s 1999 Master Plan. More importantly, we are confident that we are moving forward in the most responsible, fiscally conservative manner possible.”

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