FRESNO, CA.- Three years of jackhammers, bulldozers and excavators will come to a close, as the Fresno Metropolitan Museum reopens to the public in its newly renovated building on November 13, 2008 at 5:00 p.m. with a grand reopening ceremony.
The historic structure at 1555 Van Ness Avenue in downtown Fresno was the focus of an extensive renovation and reshaping of the entire Museum complex, as two additions constructed in 1936 and 1951 as well as the Museums longtime administrative office building were razed. In addition, the Museums picturesque courtyard was the subject of a complete makeover, with the result a green space approaching the size of a football field.
The reopening of the Bee Building represents the completion of a renovation project which involved the hard work, long hours, and dedication of many individuals and teams, said Erica Nishinaka Lacey, the Mets assistant director, who served as the project director for the renovation.
The renovation affords the Museum the opportunity to open the buildings fourth and fifth floors for the first time ever. The fourth floor will serve as a multipurpose space supporting special programs, educational activities and will serve as gallery space on occasion.
We look forward to having a floor dedicated to our educational programs, said Teresa España, the Mets Director of Education and Interpretation. The space will be of great benefit to our school tour and weekend workshops, lectures and film screenings.
The fifth floor will house the Mets administrative offices, marking the first time in the Museums history that its offices will be housed in the same location as its exhibition space.
The Mets executive director, Dana Thorpe, looks forward to the reopening as in some ways a reintroduction of the Met to Fresno. This truly is the dawning of a new era for the Fresno Metropolitan Museum, she said. Im proud that we are able to bring the entire community into our facility again, fully up and running with exciting new exhibitions and programming. That were able to see this long awaited day come to fruition is the culmination of years of hard work and dedication, and were anxious to share what weve accomplished.