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World-class building under way with Broad Art Museum groundbreaking

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Construction for MSU’s Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum began March 16 with a groundbreaking for the building, designed by world-renowned architect Zaha Hadid.

The facility is named in honor of Eli and Edythe Broad, longtime supporters of the university who provided the lead gift for the museum. The Broads’ gift of $28 million, with $21 million designated for construction of the building and $7 million to be used for acquisitions, exhibitions and operations, was the catalyst for the world-class project.

“Mr. Broad has spoken of the importance of knowing the art of one’s time so we may know ourselves better,” said MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon. “And he and Edythe have made it something we look forward to doing – entering a vibrant space filled with visual delights to ponder and explore. This Zaha Hadid design will send the message we want – that great art deserves great architecture.”

The three-level, 46,000–square-foot building, to be located at the corner of Grand River Avenue and the Farm Lane campus entrance, will feature a unique design constructed of steel and concrete with a pleated stainless steel and glass exterior. The museum will be adjoined by an expansive outdoor sculpture garden as an extension of the east entrance courtyard and by a large pedestrian plaza at the west entrance.

“Our design for the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum captures the imagination, presenting endless possibilities for exhibitions in state-of-the-art galleries and continuing Michigan State University’s reputation for excellence and innovation,” said Zaha Hadid.

Hadid, a Pritzker Prize-winning architect from London, was selected as the winner of an international design competition for the museum in January 2008. Teams from Hadid’s firm worked with university representatives as well as local architectural and construction firms to complete the design and building plans.

The groundbreaking will be followed by 20 months of construction, leading to a dedication and opening in the spring of 2012.

Once completed, the museum will have more than 70 percent gallery space and room for large art works to be displayed. The primary focus of the museum will be contemporary art.

“It is our hope that this museum serves not only the students and faculty of MSU but also the Greater Lansing community and all of central Michigan,” said Eli Broad, MSU alumnus and founder of The Broad Foundations. “This project combines three of our passions: education, art and architecture.  So we are privileged to help fund an art museum and an important piece of architecture at my alma mater.”

Nearly $33 million in private funds has been raised for the project, surpassing the original $30 million goal established in 2007 before the building design was completed. Latest estimates put the cost at $40 million to $45 million and include several contingencies. The goal is to secure at least $40 million in private gifts, leaving approximately $7 million left to reach the new goal. Gifts beyond this total will allow the university additional flexibility in completing the museum.

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