MACON, GA-The 48,000-sf structure is scheduled to break ground in February 2001 with completion scheduled for Martin Luther King Jr. Day in January 2003.

The land was donated by Bibb County through the Urban Development Authority. More than half of the $15 million has been pledged through a fund-raising effort led by Mayor C. Jack Eillis.

The two-story, 48,000-sf building will include a central rotunda, two 4,000-sf galleries, classrooms, a resource center, café and museum store.

Since it opened in 1985, the existing museum, which focuses on the black experience in the American South, has been housed in a former 8,500-sf warehouse. The old building won’t be abandoned but the new facility will allow the museum to consolidate a number of activities now carried out off-site.

The vacant tract on which the Tubman will be built completes the city’s thriving arts and entertainment corridor. The district includes the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, the Macon Centreplex and the restored Douglass Theater.

The museum is named for Harriet Tubman, an escaped slave and abolitionist who was a leader in the Underground Railroad in the mid-1800s.

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