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VOL. 39 | NO. 28 | Friday, July 10, 2015

Plans for new Tennessee State Museum taking shape

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NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam will lead the planned private fundraising campaign to bolster $120 million in taxpayer support for the new Tennessee State Museum.

Haslam's chief of staff, Mark Cate, outlined plans Monday for both fundraising and construction of the facility, which will be on the Bicentennial Capitol Mall in Nashville, multiple media outlets report.

The museum "will highlight the story and the legends and the glory of what Tennessee has been, as well as our mistakes and the complications of becoming what we are today," museum executive director Lois Riggins-Ezzell said.

Haslam proposes creating a New State Museum Campaign Cabinet to raise the $40 million needed to meet the expected $160 million project budget. Haslam will appoint a steering committee to oversee the project, while the state Department of General Services will work with a private contractor to handle the day-to-day operations of the project.

"Raising $40 million is never going to be easy, but I am confident that the governor's putting together a committee of people who will have the ability," state House Deputy Speaker Steve McDaniel, R-Parkers Crossroads told The Tennessean (http://tnne.ws/1IXveiZ). McDaniel also is chairman of the museum commission.

Although details about the museum are not finalized, it is expected to stay open at its current location in the basement of the Tennessee Performing Arts Center for about three more years.

The project will provide the museum with its first stand-alone building in the institution's 78-year existence. The museum houses and provides educational displays of Tennessee historical, cultural and archaeological artifacts.

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