Mu­seum project money ap­proved

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NORTHWEST ARKANSAS - TRACY M. NEAL

ROGERS — The city will pay up to $2.5 mil­lion for the ex­pan­sion and ren­o­va­tion of the Rogers His­tor­i­cal Mu­seum.

The City Coun­cil agreed Tues­day to pay for the fi­nal phase of the project up to $2.5 mil­lion.

The coun­cil’s Fi­nance Com­mit­tee ap­proved the item and a short time later the coun­cil unan­i­mously voted in fa­vor of the agree­ment.

John Bur­roughs, mu­seum ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, said more than $3 mil­lion has been raised for the project, which is ex­pected to $5.5 mil­lion.

The city’s $2.5 mil­lion means the mu­seum and Rogers Mu­seum Foun­da­tion raised the to­tal amount for the project.

Bur­roughs said he ex­pects the city to con­trib­ute less than the $2.5 mil­lions be­cause fundrais­ing isn’t over. Bur­roughs ex­pects the foun­da­tion will re­ceive a $250,000 grant in the fall for the project.

Bur­roughs said he’s pleased and proud of Mayor Greg Hines and the coun­cil’s com­mit­ment to the mu­seum.

The mu­seum project in­cludes ren­o­vat­ing of the old Ha­ley Ford Build­ing and the mu­seum.

The project also in­cluded the mu­seum’s new col­lec­tion build­ing at Third and Po­plar Streets.

Bur­roughs ex­pects the Ha­ley Build­ing will be opened by Christ­mas 2018.

Bur­roughs told the coun­cil they had plans of build­ing a new mu­seum, but pur­chas­ing the Ha­ley Build­ing met their needs. Bur­roughs said build­ing a new mu­seum would have cost $7.9 mil­lion and it could have been sig­nif­i­cantly higher.

The coun­cil also voted to ac­cept a $500,000 grant from the Rogers Mu­seum Foun­da­tion. The grant is in­cluded in the $3 mil­lion raised for the project.

The foun­da­tion raised the $500,000 as part of match­ing grant from the Na­tional En­dow­ment for the Hu­man­i­ties.

Hines praised the foun­da­tion for its fundrais­ing ef­fort. Hines said he com­mit­ted the city to con­tribut­ing $2.5 mil­lion but he also ex­pects it to be less be­cause of the foun­da­tion’s fundrais­ing ef­fort.

Hines said the ex­pan­sion and ren­o­va­tion is a great project for the city.

Hines also ap­pointed Ash­ley Pledger, John Ha­gan and Emery Davis to the His­toric District Com­mis­sion. They are re­plac­ing three oth­ers on the com­mis­sion.

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