Laurel art museum breaks ground on building addition

LAUREL, MS (WDAM) - A lot more art will soon be on display at Laurel's renowned Lauren Rogers Art Museum.

The museum broke ground Wednesday on a 3.5 million dollar addition, the majority of that money coming from Jones County donors.

The addition will add approximately 5,425 square feet to the historic building and planners say the project will be completed in about a year.

"The new space will allow us to show more from our collection," said Executive Director George Bassi, referring to the museum's famed 20,000 piece collection. "There'll be about 3400 square feet of new gallery space so that we can also have some flexibility with that space and be able to have events, lectures, hands-on activities with children coming in school tours."

This is the third time in its 88 year history that the museum - which sits across the street from lumber heir Lauren Rogers' own childhood home - will face an addition to welcome more square footage.

"The other exciting part for us as a museum is that part of the expansion also allows for new - about a 2000 square foot art storage vault," said Bassi. "We now can house the collection all in one big space, care for it, and also the new space allows us to grow the collection."