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Colonial Williamsburg names general contractor for $40 million Art Museums expansion

Jimmy LaRoue
Contact Reporterjlarouejr@vagazette.com

Colonial Williamsburg’s Art Museums $40 million expansion is scheduled to begin this week now that it has named the general contractor for the two-year project.

In a news release, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation named W.M. Jordan Company of Newport News as the general contractor for the Art Museums’ expansion. Both museums — the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum and the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum — will remain open throughout the construction.

The project is being financed entirely through dedicated donor funds as part of the foundation’s $600 million Campaign for History and Citizenship.

The Art Museums will expand by 65,000 square feet and create a new façade and entrance on South Nassau Street. Total exhibition space is expected to increase by 22 percent, the release states.

“The expansion of our two world-renowned art museums is an essential element of our core educational mission,” said Colonial Williamsburg President and CEO Mitchell B. Reiss in a statement. “By more appropriately showcasing our outstanding collections and improving the visitor experience, we aim to attract more guests than ever. Entrusting this vital construction work to W.M. Jordan Company will ensure that the Art Museums thrive for generations to come.”

W.M. Jordan, which successfully bid for the project against three other bidders according to the news release, has also done work on the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, as well as other museums in Hampton, Newport News and Richmond.

The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg are home to world-class collections of American folk art dating from the 18th century through to the present day and to British and American fine and decorative arts from 1670-1840.

“This fully donor-funded project will dramatically enhance the guest experience at our already successful Art Museums,” said Ronald L. Hurst, Colonial Williamsburg Carlisle H. Humelsine chief curator and vice president for collections, conservation and museums in a statement.

The Art Museums broke ground on the expansion during an April 27 ceremony.

LaRoue can be reached by phone at 757-345-2342, by email at jlarouejr@vagazette.com or on Twitter @jlaroue.

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