The Watson-Brown Foundation recently awarded $100,000 to the Augusta Museum of History.
"We are indeed grateful to the Watson-Brown Foundation for this very generous gift," said Scott Loehr, the museum's executive director.
The gift nearly finishes the museum's capital campaign effort and will be used to build two classrooms.
"The classrooms will be used for educating schoolchildren, for continuing education classes, and will be made available to other groups, as well," Loehr said. "It will greatly enhance our educational capacity. We'll be able to provide tours and more intensive classroom teaching simultaneously in the museum."
The museum opened in February 1996 and museum officials recently embarked on a capital fund-raising campaign with a goal to raise $1.8 million. Loehr said the campaign has exceeded their expectations, with a current total of $2.1 million, most of which will be invested in capital improvements and an endowment fund.
"We're just $100,000 shy of completing all aspects of the campaign," Loehr said. "We consider ourselves very fortunate and interpret it as strong support for the preservation of local history."
Planned improvements include a 10,000-square-foot addition, the Knox Foundation Center for the Preservation and Study of CSRA History. That space will include collection storage, a research library, archives, artifact conservation laboratory and offices for curatorial staff. The addition is expected to be completed in about two months.
On Thursday, the Watson-Brown Foundation will play host to the Augusta Museum of History's board of trustees.
Tad Brown, the president of the Watson-Brown Foundation, said the foundation supports the museum's mission.
"This is entirely in keeping with our efforts to support regional education initiatives, especially in history," Brown said. "This is one more way we can support a worthwhile program."
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