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Construction on new Tubman Museum begins | News

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Construction on new Tubman Museum begins
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"This is like the best beginning I can think of to the new year," Andy Ambrose, director of the Tubman African-American Museum, said.

They first received funds for a new building in 1998 and broke ground in 2001.

After nine years of delays on Macon's new Tubman African-American museum due to a lack of funds, museum director, Andy Ambrose, says construction is now back on track.

"We've gotten some national and state funding, significantly through the SPLOST. So we're very excited about that, because that's what's enabling us to complete this museum," Ambrose said.

The new 49,000 square-foot museum would be more than five times the size of the current one on Walnut Street

It will house an expanded gallery and host larger events.

Ambrose says the current museum can only hold a fifth of its gallery collection.

"When this is open, we're going to see a cultural attraction that's unlike any other in the state or the region or in some ways in the nation," Ambrose said.

The $22 million project is good news for businesses, who say the new museum will draw people downtown.

"That means they're stopping at restaurants, going into different shops, this is a big win for all of the businesses downtown," Roger Riddle, marketing manager of The Rookery and Dovetail, said.

Mike Ford, executive director of Newtown Macon, says the organization invested a million dollars into construction on the new museum, "because of the increase in foot traffic and people being brought in downtown because of the expanded facility on Cherry Street."

Though this is just the beginning, again, with full funding, Ambrose says he doesn't expect any more surprises or delays.

"This is full on board and there will be increasing activity as we move through the months," Ambrose said.

Finally, there's a little light at the end of the railroad.

Follow 13WMAZ's Anita Oh on Twitter @anita_oh and on Facebook at Anita Oh WMAZ.

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