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Ceramic art museum construction to begin
6/04/14

Construction will begin this month on a $10 million Alfred Museum of Ceramic Art. The University has received a private donation to cover the cost of the new museum, said Charles M. Edmondson, president of Alfred University.

“The new museum will greatly enhance our educational programs, particularly those in ceramic art, for which we are already internationally known,” said Edmondson. The University has had a museum of ceramic art for a number of years, but exhibition space has always been limited. “For the past 30 years, much of the collection has been in storage because we have not had sufficient space to display many of the objects at the same time.”

Second, the new building will provide the University’s fine arts program with a signature building, just as the Miller Performing Arts Center and Theater do for the performing arts program. “We are exploring the synergies between fine and performing arts, trying to develop new academic programs that will enrich both.”

The museum design is the work of Architect Bruce Wood of Kallmann McKinnell & Wood Architects, Boston, who designed the performing arts buildings. The museum design echoes that of the Miller buildings; all are brick, with large expanses of glass and dramatic roof lines. 

The new building will be located on the site of the former Davis Gym, on Pine Street just past its intersection with Main Street. The front of the building will face west, toward Main Street. The proximity of the site to the School of Art & Design facilities made it the ideal location for the new museum, said Edmondson.

Plans call for a 20,000-square foot, two-story building. The 4,000-square-foot main gallery will be located on the upper floor, which will be accessible from Pine Street. On the lower level will be the collection storage and management areas, administrative offices and restrooms, said Michael Neiderbach, executive director of capital projects for the University.

Neiderbach said the design is “elegant in its simplicity.” In addition to being attractive and functional, it will also be “green.” The University will be seeking LEED --Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design – certification. LEED is a green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices. The new museum will have a geothermal system for heating and cooling, and an energy-efficient roof system.

A construction contract was signed last week with LeChase Construction of Rochester, the same firm that built the Miller Theater. Neiderbach estimates actual work could begin by the middle of the month, and will take about a year to complete.