The five-year campaign to pay for a second museum building began silently in 2007. Since then, the Speed has raised $42.5 million, which is on track with the campaign schedule.
Much of the current sum was raised through large donations. But now the museum is seeking money from the general public.
“There are going to be many fewer individuals in that very large pool who would have the resources to make a million-dollar gift, but we certainly have some individuals who will we ask for donations at those kind of high levels,” says Speed director Charles Venable. “But this is the part of a campaign where you really want everyone to participate.”
The Speed needs $7.5 million to finance the second building. Venable says the recession—which began shortly after the campaign began—was a concern, but the economy has been helpful so far; it’s driven construction costs down enough to shave several million dollars off the cost of building the new facility and thereby lowered the campaign goal.
“It may very well be that we’re able to go even a little beyond our goal and start doing some of the renovation we’ve announced that we want to do to the original building. I think we’ll play that by ear,” says Venable.
A groundbreaking for the new building is scheduled for next fall.
The second phase of the fundraising campaign will bring the total to $79 million and pay for other expansions and improvements. That’s expected to take several years.