Museum will stay in Czech Village - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Museum will stay in Czech Village

CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) - The new Czech & Slovak Museum & Library exhibition center and library will be built in Czech Village.

In a release sent Wednesday, the NCSML said it will pursue a development agreement with the City of Cedar Rapids.

It is focusing on property near the old museum building that was damaged in last year's flood.

"We are very excited to rebuild in Czech Village. This has been our home since our first museum on C Street SW in 1978," said Board Chair Gary Rozek. "We want to continue to be part of the revitalization of the historic Czech neighborhoods."

In the development agreement request of the City of Cedar Rapids, the NCSML will ask to have the Round House moved or demolished and to close A Street SW to through traffic, among other site improvements. The design process for the new exhibition center and library is expected to begin this fall with construction scheduled for completion in 2012. "We intend to build the new museum above a level of parking to protect it from future flooding," said Gail Naughton, president/CEO.

An effort is underway to raise the funds required before beginning construction. "Preliminary estimates are in the range of $18 to $20 million," said Naughton. "It is important that we have reached that goal in cash and pledges before we start the project."

The new exhibition center and library is the largest of four rebuilding projects for the NCSML. The other three projects are to 1) restore the historic Kosek building in Czech Village for a new exhibition, programs and administrative space - set to open early 2010; 2) restore the historic homes under museum ownership, including the 1880s immigrant home; and 3) mount a new, permanent exhibition in the new exhibition center and library.

Online News Director Nate Leding



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