By STEVE EIGHINGER
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
The Quincy Art Center learned Thursday it will receive a $99,800 grant it will use toward capital improvements.
Julie Nelson, who has been executive director and curator for almost 19 years at the art center, said the projects covered by the grant are needed and will enhance the museum cosmetically, creating a more pleasing environment.
"I am so excited," Nelson said. "A lot of what is covered in this grant was a long time coming."
Much of the rehabilitative construction will include interior and exterior improvements to the historic Sinnock Gallery.
The funds awarded the center were announced by Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and were part of a $15 million package involving state capital investments targeted for museums on public grounds.
"Our museums expand educational frontiers by allowing visitors to learn about Illinois' history and cultural diversity in unique, interactive ways," Quinn said. "These (grants) will ... help preserve and enhance some of Illinois' greatest treasures."
The projects are part of the Illinois Public Museum Capital Grants Program, which is managed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
"The Museum Capital Grants Program assists local public museums in meeting their educational missions by upgrading or expanding museum facilities," IDNR Director Marc Miller said. "Museums play a vital role in helping students, families and visitors to Illinois better understand the culture, history and natural heritage of local communities and the state of Illinois."
Included in the Sinnock Gallery interior improvements are new emergency exit doors, landing, stairs and lighting, new flooring, and new display partitions.
Among the exterior renovations will be some restoration work, structural repairs, selective brick paver replacement, concrete sidewalk construction and selective tuck-pointing of the main entry court.
"The new exit means we will be able to have more people in the gallery," Nelson said. "Right now, due to (fire codes), we can only have 50 people in there."
The new wooden floor will replace the current carpeted surface, which is more than 20 years old. Nelson said it shows wear and is stained.