Final fundraising goal for Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum in sight

MSU is pushing to raise $6 million by April 2012 to reach its $40 million fundraising goal for the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum.

So far, the university has raised slightly more than $34 million toward the project, said Bob Groves, vice president for university advancement.

University officials said they had raised about $33 million for the project in June 2010.

“We’re working hard to finish this as soon as we can, ideally before the end of the calendar year,” Groves said. “It’s one gift at a time.”

Since Michael Rush was named director of the contemporary art museum in December 2010, Rush has held meetings with potential donors across the country — including in Los Angeles, New York City and Florida, in addition to the mid-Michigan and southeast Michigan area, Groves said.
Because of travel, Rush was unavailable for comment.

Donations have been accepted from a few dollars up to millions of dollars, and the team recently has started to publicize opportunities to contribute to the Wall of Honor board in the building, he said.

Billionaire alumnus Eli Broad and his wife, Edythe, have contributed $28 million to the museum — $21 million going toward construction of the building and $7 million for acquisitions, exhibitions and operation.

“We hope to have (the fundraising) done before April (2012),” Groves said.

“We get it done when we get it done.”

The museum is slated to open in April 2012, and all planning and construction efforts are on schedule, said Linda Stanford, associate provost for academic services.

A dedication date has not been set, but is expected to take place in spring of 2012, she said.

The building will be substantially complete in December and the steel framing that will hold the glass and stainless steel for the exterior of the building currently is being installed, she said.

“Once the glass and stainless steel are on it, it will be spectacular,” Stanford said.

Erin Bowdell, project representative for the museum with the MSU Physical Plant, said construction crews currently are working to enclose the building.

Crews will “put down their hammers” for the most part by the end of the year and prepare the building for occupancy by April 2012, she said.

Indoors, the building will have strict temperature control parameters to ensure the artwork is protected — especially to control humidity during Michigan winters, Bowdell said.

The museum has had some challenges from a construction standpoint, but the difficult-to-construct elements are what will make it stand apart, Bowdell said.

“It’s a challenging building,” she said.

“A lot of the concrete, the glazing systems … and the metal panel systems are not something that are typical in this region.”

Since the museum now is becoming a recognizable structure and Rush is creating an identity for the facility, Groves said he expects a lot of excitement will be generated about the project.

“It’s a pretty bold statement about the university moving into the space of contemporary art,” he said.

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