One of Cedar Rapids’ most prominent cultural institutions, destroyed in last year’s flood, will be rebuilt near the same location. The National Czech and Slovak Museum is situated along the Cedar River. Museum and Library CEO and President Gail Naughton says around 800 people throughout the United States and abroad weighed in on the decision to rebuild. “We wanted to make sure we looked at all the possibilities for a location and that we had done our homework,” Naughton said. “When it came down to it, this was absolutely the best location for our new museum.”
The new facility will be located adjacent to the flooded building in the city’s historic Czech Village. Although the new center will still be in a floodplain, the chances of it taking on flood waters again are slim. “We will build this building with a layer of parking underneath, so that will raise the floor of the museum. Our target will be three feet above the level of the ’08 flood,” Naughton said. The new structure will cost up to 20-million dollars to build. The state’s I-JOBS program is covering half of the price tag. Naughton says most construction will occur in 2011 and a grand opening is expected in 2012.
The Board of Directors of the National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library has formed a committee to study the possible role of the flood-damaged museum building. A decision is expected later this fall.