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Mar 9, 2011 11:12 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

New Parrish Art Museum Construction On Schedule, Officials Say

Mar 9, 2011 11:12 AM

Despite the stormy weather this winter, construction of the new Parrish Art Museum building in Water Mill remains on track, with a target opening date of July 2012, museum officials said this week.

The Parrish has raised about 80 percent of the $25 million it needs to complete the project, according to Terrie Sultan, the museum director.

“The last 20 percent of any fundraising project like this is always the hardest, and, of course, raising money in this economic climate is a challenge,” Ms. Sultan said in an interview on Monday. She added that she is confident that support from community members will allow the capital campaign to be finished in a timely fashion.

“But there’s no point in pretending that it isn’t challenging to raise that kind of money in this climate,” she added.

The Parrish’s plans for a larger building than its current Southampton Village-owned home on Jobs Lane have been years in the making, and the current plan—for an approximately 34,000-square-foot building designed by the Swiss architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron—represents a scaled-back version of the original plan, in both scope and cost.

The economic tailspin of 2008 and resulting decline in major donations led to the downsizing. The original plan, unveiled in 2006, called for a 64,000-square-foot museum with a price tag of some $80 million.

Ms. Sultan and Anke Jackson, the museum’s assistant director, said the project has been progressing smoothly, without any major hiccups or changes since ground was broken in July and construction began in earnest in August.

“What we envisioned is what we’re building,” the director said.

She and other officials said the work is still coming in under budget, although they noted that because they are actively awarding contracts to various subcontractors, that could change.

Part of the museum’s strategy for raising the roughly $5 million it needs for the project, Ms. Sultan said, is to continue to show the public why the effort is a worthy one. A large portion of the current exhibit, “Esteban Vicente: Portrait of the Artist,” for example, is drawn from the museum’s permanent collection, which is not always on display, because the current 17,000-square-foot building is too cramped, museum officials say.

“Mounting these exhibitions,” Ms. Sultan, said, referring to works not shown all the time because of space constraints, “people can see what it is that they have been deprived of and what they will have a chance to see anytime that they come to the museum once we [open] the space,” she said.

Work on the grounds, meanwhile, is progressing as expected, according to Justin Fulweiler of Ben Krupinski Builder, the East Hampton contractor for the project.

An elongated steel skeleton has been rising from the 14-acre Montauk Highway site since foundation work was completed. Ms. Jackson said that was done by the New Year.

Mr. Fulweiler, the project manager, said the setting of the steel framework should be finished shortly. Currently the “central spine” of the building has been taking shape.

Crews have also begun pouring some concrete for the benches that are planned to run along the roughly 614-foot length of the building on the north and south sides and for some exterior walls.

Although several snowstorms battered the East End this winter, workers at the site have been using a heated tent on wheels to continue work, mostly uninterrupted, officials said.

Once the steel structure is in place, construction is expected to take place in a west-to-east manner so that the roof and walls of a portion of the western part of the building will be completed before either is completed on an eastern portion. Mr. Fulweiler said this “conveyor-belt”-like fashion allows other trades to get into the building sooner.

“Substantial completion” of the building is expected in the first quarter of 2012, officials said. The final product is planned to resemble a barn-shaped building, with plenty of skylights to emphasize natural light, or “to see art in the same environment in which it was created,” according to Ms. Jackson. It will include 10 galleries as well as exhibition space in the central spine of the building.

Ms. Sultan said she is particularly proud that two-thirds of the space will be open to the public via exhibition space, a multipurpose room and cafe—a favorable amount for a museum, she said. The remaining third will be for private offices and storage, she said.

Ms. Jackson said some widening of Montauk Highway from Fairbanks Court east to Head of Pond Road to allow for a turning lane is expected to take place sometime before the certificate of occupancy is issued.

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Does this project have a LEED rating?

Editor, could you please provide links to previous articles, including plans or renderings?

Thank you.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Mar 10, 11 5:51 PM
http://www.27east.com/news/article.cfm/Southampton/289459/Parrish-Art-Museum-will-break-ground-on-new-building-next-week
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Mar 10, 11 6:14 PM
http://www.27east.com/news/article.cfm/Water-Mill/287818/Parrish-preparing-to-break-ground-later-this-summer
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Mar 10, 11 6:17 PM
http://www.27east.com/news/article.cfm/Southampton/286483/Parrish-Art-Museum-plans-to-break-ground-in-Water-Mill-this-summer
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Mar 10, 11 6:19 PM
http://www.27east.com/news/article.cfm/Water-Mill/234512/Parrish-shares-design-with-the-public
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Mar 10, 11 7:06 PM
Every time I read of this project I am left wondering why they could not have left it in the village where it is most appropriate and most needed.
By dagdavid (646), southampton on Mar 14, 11 10:17 AM