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Chandler Closer To Building New Museum

Nearly five years after the Chandler Museum’s home was demolished, construction is about to begin on a new $4 million facility.

The Chandler City Council will vote on construction and construction management contracts at its meeting Thursday.

“It gives us a place where we can talk about the issues at hand and the issues that we’ve faced in the past to understand who we are and where we’ve come from and where we want to be as a community,” said Chandler Museum Administrator Jody Crago.

The museum was previously housed at 178 E. Commonwealth Avenue, near the downtown branch of the Chandler Public Library. Crago said the community approved bonds for a new museum in 2004 and 2007, but the Great Recession interrupted plans.

The museum’s current home, the McCullough-Price House is a 3,300-square-foot Pueblo Revival-style building.

The small space hosts rotating exhibits, but most of the museum’s collection is in storage off-site.

Local firm Weddle Gilmore Architects designed and will oversee the construction of the 10,000-square-foot museum.

“There are exterior spaces that allow us to take advantage of the great weather we have here and then interior spaces that actually have transition areas between indoor and outdoor so that the two can work together,” Crago said.  

The building will be on the same property as the historic McCullough-Price House, which will become a research library and storage.

If approved, crews will start work on the new space before the end of the year. The museum will close during construction and is scheduled to re-open next fall.

Mariana Dale rustles up stories as a senior field correspondent based out of KJZZ’s East Valley Bureau in Tempe. She’s followed a microphone onto cattle ranches, to the Dominican Republic and many places in between. Dale believes in a story’s strength to introduce us to diverse perspectives, inspire curiosity and hold public leaders accountable for their actions. She started at KJZZ on the digital team in 2016 and still spends a lot of time thinking about how to engage with our community online. Dale has learned from stints at Arizona Public Media, The Arizona Daily Star, The Arizona Republic and as an intern at NPR’s Morning Edition in Culver City. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Dale is grateful for the mentoring of the New York Times Student Journalism Institute, the Chips Quinn Scholars program and AIR’s New Voices Scholars. A desert native, she loves spending time outside hiking, tending to her cactus and reading.