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First Phase of Oakland Museum of California Renovation Project Opens

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Cahill Contractors has completed the first phase of a major renovation of the 40-year-old Oakland Museum of California.

First Phase of Oakland Museum of California Renovation Project Opens
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The $58-million project, designed by Mark Cavagnero Associates of San Francisco, features the renovation and expansion of its landmark Kevin Roche building and a groundbreaking reinstallation of its collections.

According to Cahill, the scope of work included the expansion of the Art Gallery, ADA access upgrades, new metal canopies with skylights over existing walkways, life safety upgrades, replacement of the emergency generator, and expansion and enhancement of the mechanical system and other related work.

Cahill is aiming for a LEED-NC silver designation.

Created in 1969 as a “museum for the people,” OMCA is reviving its foundational premise by developing innovative exhibition and programming strategies, setting a new paradigm for the way a museum engages the public.

Visitors to the reinvented museum will find multiple entry points for exploring the state’s past; learn about the natural, artistic, and social forces that continue to shape it; and investigate their own role in both its history and its future.

“We are moving toward a more participatory museum experience that encourages visitor contributions and feedback,” says Lori Fogarty, OMCA’s executive director. “Just as California is not a ‘fixed’ place but constantly evolving, our new galleries are designed to accommodate change and new ideas.”

OMCA has raised more than 97% of its capital campaign goal for the $58 million transformation. The museum’s innovative approach to the presentation of its collections and public programming has been recognized by a number of leading foundations as creating new models for the field.

OMCA was recently awarded $6.1 million in new grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the S. D. Bechtel, Jr., The James Irvine, the Hedco, and The Kresge Foundations to help fund the transformation, including new educational tools and programs that will encourage visitors to contribute information about California based on their own lived experiences.

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