Ohr-O'Keefe Museum could get stimulus money

By Krystal Allan - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art could receive a financial boost from economic stimulus money.

"Ten million would be hugely significant as you could imagine. We could finish the Ohr Pods and begin the Center for Ceramics," says Executive Director Denny Mecham.

The museum's board has asked the Biloxi city council to draw up a resolution asking the state for ten million dollars in stimulus money.  The museum's executive director, Denny Mecham, said at first, museums were crossed off the list of projects eligible for funding in the package. But, final negotiations among lawmakers put museums back on the list to receive money.

"I can't tell you what it would mean to be able to finish out this campus," says Mecham.

The total cost to construct the Ohr Pods and Center for Ceramics building is 15 million dollars, but, Mecham says ten million will go along way.

"I think it would just take us much longer to raise that funding," says Mecham.

With 10 million dollars possibly on the way, Mecham says it's given the museum a renewed sense of enthusiasm as it works to fulfill its educational and cultural mission.

"We are really ready to go."

The museum is still looking for private funding to finish three additional buildings on the museum's campus.  Mecham says the museum has been successful in securing some funds.

The Biloxi City Council is scheduled to decide on the resolution Tuesday.