RICHMOND — For the first time in more than eight months, the Richmond Art Museum was open for visitors Tuesday, marking the official end of a long renovation project.
The smell of fresh paint lingering in the air offered a hint of the work that's taken place since June. The $1.7 million project included lighting upgrades, new floors in some places, bathroom makeovers and, most importantly, an overhaul of the building's heating and cooling system.
"The impetus for this was updating the museum in regards to climate control," RAM Executive Director Shaun Dingwerth said. "We have an important permanent collection that we need to care for, but also, this will give us the ability to borrow works from other institutions.
McGuire Hall's 30-year-old system was given an overhaul that partially will pay off in future energy savings. The project was paid for entirely from private donations, 80 percent of which came from within Wayne County.