The Albany Museum of Art is looking at property downtown

The Albany Museum of Art is looking at property downtown
(Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB)

On Monday, representatives from the Albany Museum of Art, including its Executive Director, asked the county commission to reallocate $700,000 dollars from SPLOST V to help provide a financial foundation for the estimated $7.5 million dollar move.

Having a closer proximity to other popular attractions like the Civil Rights Museum and Flint Riverquarium are some reasons cited for the move.

Another is contributing to making a "vibrant" downtown.

Relocating the Albany Museum of Art into the heart of downtown Albany is beginning to take shape.

But, to get downtown, it first needs local support.

In order for the museum to make the move, it needs financial backing from its hometown in order to show outside foundations and grants that the AMA has local support.

The City Commission has not been formally approached yet for funding.

"Once all of these commitments are made, we can then leverage these funds from our city and county to outside sources, so I am really excited about that opportunity," said Paula Williams, the AMA's Executive Director.

Back in January, the Museum was forced to shut down after destructive storms ripped off its roof.

Some art had to be transferred to Chicago for restoration.

Many pieces are currently in storage for free at the High Museum in Atlanta.

Since that time, the AMA's board of trustees has put its full support behind moving the museum downtown, rather than rebuild at its current northwest Albany location.

The county commission will vote on reallocating the SPLOST V money Friday.

Voters had approved the AMA getting $3 million dollars in SPLOST V funding to move downtown in 2007.

That move didn't happen due to the economic downturn and other factors, and the money that was allocated for the AMA was used for other county purposes.

The Albany Museum of Art is looking at several buildings downtown.

One is the distinctive Albany Herald building on Pine Avenue.

The AMA's director said several factors go into selecting a building, including climate control requirements, which are very strict for the nationally accredited museum, and will play a part in making the final decision.

The museum's current location, on the Albany State West Campus, will either be taken over by the Board of Regents or sold.

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