Additional Funding Approval Needed for the International African American Museum

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CHARLESTON, South Carolina (WCBD) — A project that has been in the works for years, the International African American Museum (IAAM), is nearing completion.

“The city was responsible for the construction contract which would include site work and construction work. We call this shell work. They’re finishing up their punch list right now,” said Edmund Most, assistant manager of capital projects for the city of Charleston. “The IAAM is responsible for the interior exhibit, AV package, specialist lighting, conservation work and they already have their contractors inside at the moment and are currently working there.”

The museum, being built on Gadsden’s Wharf in downtown Charleston, will be an institution of learning, a visitor experience and a place where people can learn about the history of the area.

“It won’t be your typical museum, but it will be an institution of learning,” Most said. “Also, people can come here and research and better understand their genealogy and culture.”

The $100 million project is nearing its end point, but construction setbacks and other factors are impacting the work.

Project officials plan to seek City Council approval for a few million more dollars to keep the project on track.

“These change orders that are going to the city council are actually for unforeseen items, delays and conditions that have happened over the last few months to a year,” Most said.

Supply chain issues and other construction setbacks are driving the need for the extra cash. Roof repairs, material costs, design changes and additional insurance for construction crews are some of the factors that play into the need for more funding.

However, the funds are already in the project budget. This is simply to get approval from the city council for unforeseen expenses.

“These funds were transferred from the IAAM to the city and we are managing the funds,” Most said.

The IAAM released a statement to News 2 regarding the delays and revisions.

“The International African American Museum is responsible for providing the additional funds necessary for the changes. We have raised enough revenue through private philanthropic contributions to do so and as such we do not anticipate any further delay to our opening day, which we plan to hold in late 2022/early 2023.”

African American International Museum

The city council will discuss the need for additional funds at its meeting on Tuesday.

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