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Kansas City Museum given $1-million gift to continue renovations

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Museum received more than $1-million for renovations Monday, but city leaders say it's going to cost more than $15-million to get all the work done, which is why they've launched a new campaign.

City officials, the board of directors of the museum foundation and museum staff announced the launch of "Making a Museum KC" during a news conference Monday.

The goal is to raise $2-million to help with stage one of the museum's multi-year restoration and renovation project. So far $1-million has been pledged. The R.A. Long Foundation pledge $500,000 of that with a promise of changing the name of the Grand Hall of the Corinthian Hall to the "R.A. Long Foundation Grand Hall."

The Kansas City museum sits in the old northeast neighborhood. It has five buildings on the property including Corinthian Hall mansion.

"This is something that will actually have an emotional impact on the city," mayor Sly James said. "It will be yet another thing to make people proud of Kansas City and to bring joy to them and keep in mind the new vision of the museum, which is to serve as a hub of learning, creativity and collaboration where individuals and communities can innovate."

City leaders say it's going to cost more than $15-million to get all the work done.

"The city scraped up about $10-million to do the exterior of this," city manager Troy Schulte said. "The interior needs to be finished. But it took us over a decade to scrape up the money to the exterior. Let's get some of these projects done on a timely basis so we can enjoy the benefits of it as opposed to always scrimping and scraping trying to figure out what we can do to get us to that next level."

Restoration and renovations will start this summer. Work should wrap up in 2019.

When it reopens admission to the public, general admission to the museum will be free to the residents of Kansas City, Missouri.