CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A groundbreaking ceremony was held Wednesday for a renovation project at the Cincinnati Art Museum.
The old Art Academy building will be renovated to free up 13,000 square feet of space within the main Art Museum building.
It's the first phase of a $17.9 million project that will reuse the historic Art Academy Building for the Mary R. Schiff Library and staff offices. Construction is scheduled to be completed by spring of 2013.
The renovation project was awarded to the Danis Building Construction Company, with the total cost being $11.2 million.
"We are very excited to begin the first phase of a process that will let us maximize the potential of our beautiful Art Museum campus and facilitate our ability to bring people and art together in ever better ways," commented Art Museum Director, Aaron Betsky. "We will be able to display more of our collection of over sixty-thousand art objects while providing a new knowledge center and public space for our community. I am also excited to finally have most of our fantastic and dedicated staff working together in a centralized work environment. We will be able to do all of this in a very efficient and cost effective manner."
The third floor of the renovated Art Academy Building will be directly accessible from the Art Museum galleries and will house the Mary R. Schiff Library's reading room and resources, as well as a suite of public spaces and an outdoor terrace overlooking downtown Cincinnati. Staff offices will be located in the first and second floors. The building will preserve the structure's historic exterior walls and will make extensive use of recycled materials. The architects expect to obtain a LEED Gold certification for the renovated Art Academy building.
"We are thrilled to be moving forward on the first major addition to the Art Museum in roughly 50 years," said Art Museum Board President Craig Maier. "We want the residents of this community to know that we are committed to maintaining our status as a beacon for arts and culture in the Greater Cincinnati region. This project will enable us to share more of our world-renowned collections and provide ample spaces throughout the Art Museum for private reflection and community gatherings. We have absolute confidence in the qualifications and abilities of Danis Construction Company to deliver on budget and on schedule."