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Springfield Art Museum unveils 30-year masterplan

Springfield Art Museum
Chloe O'Neill

The Springfield Art Museum unveiled its 30-year masterplan on Tuesday (October 9th). The plan is to create a new Family Learning Center, new educational spaces, and improvements and expansions to the existing building – just to name a few. KSMU’s Bailey Vassalli has more.

The masterplan has been in the works for nearly nine months, with the help of BNIM, an architecture firm.

One part of the plan is to make nearby Fassnight Creek more natural.

Nick Nelson, the art museum’s director, said the art museum has been in the community for 90 years. It’s come a long way since it first was first founded in 1928, when it didn’t even have its own building to call home.

The art museum is located off of National Avenue, near historic Phelps Grove Park and the Fassnight Creek Greenway Trail. Right now, there isn’t much connecting the art museum to the other experiences nearby.

That’s something the museum is focusing on now.

“How do we tie all of these wonderful experiences together into one experience? And that was sort of what the emphasis of the plan was and what it really focuses on. It’s also what is, perhaps, one of the main things that the museum site is lacking at this point that we hope to bring about with this master plan,” Nelson said.

The masterplan is proposed in three different phases.

The first phase would deal with work to the museum grounds and the education center – what Nelson referred to as some of the most pressing needs. The second phase would create more community event space. And the final phase would include any other needed improvements and the changes to the building.

“When I think about the importance of a place like this, it’s about not just quality of life, but quality of place,” Nelson said.

The timeline of the masterplan has not yet been released, because that depends largely on fundraising.