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KBS gets contract to build $24 million expansion at Norfolk’s Chrysler Museum

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The Chrysler Museum of Art Board of Trustees has approved a construction contract with KBS Inc. to expand and renovate the museum. Work on the $24 million project will begin this month, with completion scheduled for early 2014.

The project was put to bid with pre-selected contractors, and KBS was the successful bidder. Richmond-based KBS is the largest locally owned construction firm in Central Virginia. It also has an office in Virginia Beach. Other project partners include H&A Architects of Virginia Beach, architectural design; and George Sexton and Associates of Washington, D.C., exhibition and lighting design.

The expansion is part of a $45 million capital campaign. To date, the museum has raised $41.5 million. The campaign has three primary components: the new Chrysler Museum Glass Studio, the $24 million building expansion and renovation and endowments for the museum to ensure financial stability in the future. 

The expansion is expected to transform the museum, which currently has 210,000 square feet of space on two floors. An additional 8,000 square feet of new gallery space in two new wings will flank the museum’s main entrance. The additional space will allow more works to be shown from the museum’s collection and will provide opportunities to showcase new acquisitions. 
The museum also will relocate, expand and modernize its café and catering facilities, which will move to the front of the building with a separate entrance. This will expand dining options beyond the museum hours and outdoor seating.

The renovations are designed to improve visitor circulation and access, as well as upgrade antiquated heating and air conditioning systems to better preserve the collection. 
The board said in a statement that portions of the museum will be closed during construction. Visitors will use the side entrance through December 31. The entire museum will be closed throughout 2013, with a grand reopening scheduled for April 2014.

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