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Maryhill Museum of Art Board of Trustees Unanimous in Decision to Begin Construction on New Wing
The Plaza by GBD Architects. Watercolor rendering by C.S. Holmes.

GOLDENDALE, WA.- With 95 percent of the funds in hand, the Board of Trustees of Maryhill Museum of Art has unanimously agreed to begin construction on the 25,500 square foot Mary and Bruce Stevenson Wing.

An official groundbreaking ceremony for the first expansion in the museum’s history will be held Friday, February 18 at 3:30 p.m. The event is open to the public and media.

At the Board’s January 22, 2011 meeting, Trustee Laura Cheney, capital campaign co-chair and daughter of museum benefactors Mary and Bruce Stevenson, urged the group to move forward with construction. Cheney’s motion was unanimously approved.

While $450,000 remains to be raised to meet the project's $9.3 million construction costs, the Board and staff are confident that enough donor support and momentum exists to carry the project to completion by the target date of March 2012; the overall capital campaign goal is $10 million.

“There is a tremendous amount of community support and enthusiasm for the expansion, so we know we’ll get there,” says Maryhill’s Board of Trustees president Jim Foster. “But in order to take advantage of some existing gifts and pledges, we need to move forward now.”

Two pledged gifts in particular require the museum to begin construction sooner rather than later. A $1.5 million grant from the Washington State Building for the Arts fund requires construction to commence before July 2011. The offer of $500,000 of support from Cannon Power must be used while the company completes projects currently underway in Klickitat County.

“We are still fundraising to meet our total $10 million campaign goal. Once construction is underway, we are confident that donors will step up to help push us past the goal line,” says Foster.

Starting the project now allows the museum to lock in favorable construction bids and is good timing from a practicality standpoint – excavation will be complete and mechanical systems in place before fall weather hits.

One recent bit of good news has provided another incentive for donors to make a gift now – a matching grant from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust. For every $2 raised, the Murdock Trust will contribute $1 to the project up to a total of $400,000.

“Murdock’s gift comes at a critical point in the campaign and presents an incredible opportunity to leverage $800,000 toward our fundraising goal,” says Colleen Schafroth, Maryhill’s executive director. The museum has launched an online portal at where donors can contribute directly to the campaign and to the Murdock Trust match.

The expansion will be managed by Milt Ketchum of Sherman County, Oregon and constructed by Schommer and Sons Construction of Portland. At the January 22 Board meeting Schommer and Sons announced that they would contribute in-kind services valued at $50,000.

Maryhill Museum of Art will remain open throughout construction; dates for the 2011 season are March 15 – November 15, 2011.

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