State Funding Announced for Allentown Art Museum ExpansionStory posted on 2006-08-04 18:32:00
It's been years in the making , but plans to expand and modernize the Allentown Art Museum are moving forward. Governor Ed Rendell announced the state is investing 6 million dollars in the museum's expansion and modernization project. WFMZ's Joscelyn Moes has more.
The Allentown Art Museum is getting to be too big for its current building.
So to accommodate its growing needs , the museum plans to expand and modernize.
Today , Governor Ed Rendell threw his support behind the project in the form of a 6-million dollar state grant.
6:17-6:27--Governor Ed Rendell sdfdsfsdfdsfsdfdsfsdfsdfsd
And when you think about what this project is gonna do , it's really almost mind-blowing the difference it's gonna make.
Governor Rendell says once the project is completed it will helpimprove the quality of life for local residents, draw visitors to the community, and spark additional economic activity.
15:20-15:29--Governor Ed Rendell
That's important to businesses who make relocation decisions. They want their employees to be able to experience high quality art, culture, music.
Under the museum's current plan , the building will more than double in size.
People will see some things rolling out in the next 12 months including the demolition of the properties behind us which are part of our expansion site, improvements to the interior of the museum, and renovation of the sculpture court at the back of the building.
The additional space will help accommodate the growing number of visitors.
In the last four years , the number of people passing through the museum's doors has jumped 80 percent.
We're not reinventing the old retail Allentown. This is a new Allentown and culture is going to be one of the centerpieces of that.
The museum will be celebrating its 75th anniversary in 20-09 , and officials say they hope to make significant progress on the project by then.
The art museum won't be the only place growing in the Lehigh Valley.
Governor Rendell also made a stop today at Lutron Electronics in Upper Saucon Township.
He presented the company with a check for more than four million dollars to help pay for its expansion project.
Lutron plans to build a new 250-thousand square foot office building and a parking deck.
It's also adding on to its product evaluation building.
The project is expected to create some 500 jobs.