Art museum board gives go-ahead to California architect's plan

Published May 17, 2007

TAMPA -- The Tampa Museum of Art's board of trustees has officially adopted plans for a $32.5-million building on the Hillsborough River.

On Wednesday the board unanimously approved a design for a new museum submitted by California architect Stanley Saitowitz.

After the vote, board chairman Cornelia Corbett raised her fist and shouted, "Onward!"

The room burst into applause.

They expect to demolish the existing museum early next year and open the new one in 2009.

Officials are now looking for temporary housing during construction. Top contenders are the Park Tower office building on Tampa Street and at the Tampa Convention Center, next to the Tampa History Center.

"We're hoping the cost of remodeling or building these out will be acceptable," said the museum's development director Steve Klindt.

Educational programs will continue at the temporary site as well as at schools, Boys and Girls Clubs facilities and other community locations.

Exhibits will depend on what kind of temporary space the museum has, and also may be held in conjunction with other arts organizations.

Klindt said a decision on a temporary site should be made in the next 30 days.

Janet Zink can be reached at jzink@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3401.