ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The Albany Museum of Art's dream of moving downtown just became a whole lot more real.
During a special called meeting on Friday, the Dougherty County commissioners unanimously approved a request from the Albany Museum of Art to reallocate $700,000 dollars from SPLOST V to financially support the estimated $7.5 million move.
AMA executive director and museum representatives have said the move downtown would put them in closer proximity to other popular attractions like the Civil Rights Museum and the Flint RiverQuarium.
The museum is looking at several buildings downtown including the Albany Herald building on the corner of Pine Avenue and Washington Street.
It hopes to contribute to making a "vibrant" downtown."
The AMA was closed after a destructive January storm tore off the roof and caused major damage.
With the county's initial investment, museum leadership will next ask the city commission for financial support.
Shoring up this local support is critical for the museum to win grant money, showing people outside South Georgia that the museum is valued in its hometown.
"It will create an economic boost to the city, when you have school kids coming from not just Dougherty and Lee County, but they will start coming from Macon, and Valdosta, and Tallahassee, and much further, because there are so many opportunities just in our downtown area," said Paula Williams, AMA Executive Director.
As plans continue to take shape to move the AMA downtown, the lower level of the museum will re-open for exhibits, classes and events.
That is expected to happen after Labor Day weekend.
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