Fort Smith Museum of History pushes $1 million campaign

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 81 views 

The Fort Smith Museum of History will announce a Capital Campaign Kickoff on May 2, 2012, to raise $1 million to “dramatically transform the Museum’s architectural appeal while reorganizing and renewing the presentation of its unrivaled collections.”

The event will begin at 10:30 a.m., in the lobby of the museum, located at 320 Rogers Ave. in historic downtown Fort Smith. The public is invited.

The renovation of the museum will serve several purposes: to update key infrastructure projects including mechanical and electrical systems, maximize the space and collection usage, and appeal to a new generation of museum visitors.

Any funds raised in excess of the goal will be placed into an endowment to help with continuous maintenance of the building and the exhibits.

“Without a doubt, this is one of the most important announcements that the Museum has made in its history,” John Cooley, Capital Campaign committee member and incoming board president, said in a statement. “These funds would allow the Museum to  grow substantially but more importantly, repair and maintain the unique space we occupy. This building is a legacy in the community. The museum is an extraordinary resource with an unparalleled collection. This transformation — not just of the building, but of its intellectual and thematic organization — will ensure that it continues to be a source of pride and inspiration to all.”

The May 2 event will focus on education for existing and potential supporters and allow a first-hand view at needed repairs and exhibit space. Following are the estimated costs for known needs:
Demolition: $40,000
Freight elevator: $300,000
Offices & meeting area 3rd floor: $54,000
Mechanical & electrical updates: $100,000
Interior painting & finishes: $60,000
Extend fire exit stairwell to 3rd floor: $30,000
New carpet & wood floor repair: $55,000
New walls & partitions for exhibit area: $25,000
New exhibits and updating existing: $200,000
Exterior parapet & cornice maintenance: $40,000

Total Estimated Development Budget: $904,000