Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors approves $45M for new Milwaukee Public Museum building

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee County is giving the Milwaukee Public Museum $45 million to help build a brand new building.

The funding couldn't come at a better time.

"I will tell you that I had a few sleepless nights not knowing what that final vote would be," Milwaukee Public Museum President and CEO Ellen Censky told CBS 58.

The Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors voted 14-4 to approve the funding during a meeting on Tuesday.

"It's a major commitment of present and future resources," Supervisor Jason Haas said. "I think it would be worth it to have this investment in the future."

The museum's current home dates back to the 60s. It's gone decades without proper maintenance, leaving it an unsuitable space for the collections inside.

"The building has deteriorated in that time, and so the commission said that really the only course forward was to find, secure a new home for those collections," Censky said.

A new home has been secured, the accreditation process is underway, and architects are designing how to best display the same pieces in a new way.

"We will pay homage to who we are today," Censky said. 

With the move, the museum will take public out of its name. A new name hasn't been decided on yet.

"We want to make sure that we are doing justice to Milwaukee and the community that supports us, but also being clear on who we are and what we are. We are no longer part of the county. We haven't been for 30 years," Censky said.

The Milwaukee Public Museum plans to move into a new, custom-built building near the Deer District with the Betty Brinn Children's Museum. 

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