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Museum Holds Public Forum on Expansion Plans

The Speed Art Museum in the early stages of planning a major expansion, and Saturday at 10 a.m. it’s holding a public forum to share some of its ideas. The forum will be the second since the museum announced the project’s main designer — the Los Angeles-based wHY Architecture. Last October, it announced that Reed Hilderbrand Associates of Massachusetts would design the landscape.Museum director Charles Venable says there will be some sketches of renovated spaces they’ve envisioned."This is the first time anybody, for example, will get to see a sneak preview of what the landscape might look like," he says. "We’ll be talking about the site that abuts the University of Louisville and the new sculpture park we’re putting in, as well as a new public piazza and the entire surroundings of the building."Venable says the museum has begun raising money for a $50 million-dollar campaign for the renovationVenable says the expansion is really part of a larger project."We’re really now talking about a master plan that will be executed between now and let’s say 10 years now, he says, "and the  big components of that that will guide the museum’s expanse through time."Venable says the architects have already incorporated many ideas from U of L students into preliminary designs."Hearing some of the students talk about, well, they would love to see more glass. If there’s an event going on, you want to see life and people inside that building," he says. "And they said, well you know, if we have a place to sit, if we had Wi-Fi accessibility, there would be a reason for us to stay and linger more."Venable says the museum plans to break ground on the expansion next year.

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