$7M expansion to double quilt center's storage, exhibit space

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Courtesy photo
The International Quilt Study Center and Museum will break ground on its building expansion on June 20.

A 13,200-square-foot expansion of UNL's International Quilt Study Center and Museum will begin with a June 20 groundbreaking.

The expansion will double exhibit and storage space within the museum. The project is funded by a $7 million gift from the Robert and Ardis James Foundation.

“When visitors come to Quilt House they always leave wanting more,” said Marjorie Kostelnik, dean of Education and Human Sciences. “With this addition to the building made possible through the generosity of the Robert and Ardis James Foundation they will get their wish.”

Kostelnik said the university is also celebrating the arrival of Leslie Levy, the museum's new executive director. Levy, who replaces the founding director Patricia Crews, has been tasked with leading the museum through the multi-million dollar expansion.

Levy’s appointment as the inaugural Ardis and Robert James Executive Director of Quilt House begins July 1. She previously served as the executive director of the Willa Cather Foundation, an international not-for-profit organization. She was also chief of the Consumer Protection/Antitrust Division for the Nebraska attorney general and holds a Juris Doctorate and Bachelor of Arts from UNL.

In addition to funding the expansion, the Robert and Ardis James Foundation donated $1 million to establish a permanent endowment to provide a stipend to the executive director of the museum for salary, research and program support.

The expansion to the west side of the museum is designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects of New York with local architects Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture of Omaha, the same architect team that designed the museum.

Sampson Construction of Lincoln was awarded the contract for the expansion, which officially began June 5. Construction is expected to take about eight months. The museum will remain open for exhibitions, programs and special events throughout construction.

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