COLUMBUS, OH.- The Columbus Museum of Art
s Board of Trustees unanimously voted in favor of beginning construction of the Museums new wing. The project kicked off with a community celebration and ground breaking ceremony on August 22. Construction of the new wing marks the third and final phase of the Museums Art Matters renovation and expansion project.
The past several years at the Museum have been marked by exciting growth and tangible change, said Jay Vorys, President, CMA Board of Trustees. After an extended period of thoughtful study and deliberation, the Board of Trustees were united in authorizing the commencement of construction of the new building. The Board believes that the decision is a significant milestone in the rich history of CMA and an important development for our city, county and region.
This is an incredibly powerful moment for the Museum, said Nannette V. Maciejunes, CMAs Executive Director. The new wing will allow us to better serve our community, but more importantly, it is a reflection of the importance Columbus and the Franklin County community places on the arts.
The $37.6 million project encompasses major renovations to the Ross Wing and lobby area the Museum added in 1974 and the construction of a new wing. These changes will result in a unique meeting and special event complex, as well as new Gallery spaces to showcase the Museums permanent collection and expanded space for high-profile traveling exhibitions.
Columbus-based architecture firm DesignGroup led by award-winning architect Michael Bongiorno, a graduate of the prestigious Pratt Institute School of Architecture, is spearheading the project. Recognized for the talent, experience, and innovation applied to successful local and regional urban projects, Bongiorno specializes in the design of civic facilities, cultural destinations, and residential mixed-use communities. His recent projects include the Grange Insurance Audubon Center, the Peggy R. McConnell Arts Center of Worthington, the Columbus West Family Health Center, and Goodwill Columbus Headquarters.
Also committed to the project is Corna Kokosing Construction Company. A partner on the previous two phases of the CMAs construction, Corna has long been a part of the Museum family and the Columbus community. It has a long history of being a loyal supporter of the arts and Mark Corna, president, has personally been a vital member of the Columbus arts community for many years. Corna is committed to improving their industry, community, and the environment. Not only have they constructed or renewed many of the landmark buildings in the area, but also they have become active participants in many charitable and cultural events that mark the fabric of our city.
The first phase of the capital portion of CMAs Art Matters endowment and capital campaign was the renovation and repurposing of Beaton Hall. The building now houses 85 percent of the Museum staff, thereby expanding public space in the Museum. The project was completed in September, 2009, on time and on budget.
The second phase was the renovation of the Museums historic Broad Street building, now named the Elizabeth M. and Richard M. Ross Building, which was unveiled to the public January 1, 2011. The project, which was also completed on time and on budget, included: the transformation Derby Court by raising the floor to improve accessibility, installing a luminous skylight, and improving acoustics; reimagining the entire first floor as a Center for Creativity; renovating, installing new seating, and improving acoustics in the auditorium; and performing upgrades to make the building more accessible for all visitors.
In June, 2012, the Columbus Museum of Art, in partnership with the City of Columbus and Columbus Recreation and Parks, opened its new West Garden. The garden, designed by MSI Design, an award-winning planning, urban design, landscape architecture and entertainment design firm with offices in Ohio, Florida and California, is a gateway entry experience to the Museum and includes an ADA accessible walkway from the street to the entrance. The garden will provide a safe drop-off point for school and group tours and will be the sole ADA accessible entrance to the Museum during the renovation of the Museums 1970s addition and construction of its new wing. The garden is free and accessible to the general public during regular Museum hours.