116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library intends to build in Czech Village
Sep. 9, 2009 3:42 pm
The Board of Directors of the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library (NCSML) voted yesterday that it intends to build a new exhibition center and library in Czech Village.
NCSML will pursue a development agreement with the City of Cedar Rapids for the property adjacent to its flood-damaged museum building.
“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.
The decision on rebuilding was informed by a national public input process that gathered opinions and ideas through surveys, public meetings and small-group stakeholder meetings. Over 850 people from all over the U.S., and a few from outside the country, participated.
The board has formed a committee to study the possible role of the flood-damaged museum building. A decision is expected later this fall.