BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The progress on the future Buffalo AKG Art Museum is hard to miss. Just look down.
The huge hole at the corner of Elmwood Avenue and Iroquois Drive has reached maximum depth and a new building will soon emerge. It's all part of the $168 million AK360 Campus Development and Expansion Project.
"This is exactly where we wanted to be at this time of the year", Janne Sirén, the Peggy Pierce Elvin Director of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, tells 7 Eyewitness News.
Crews from Gilbane Building Company spent the last five months removing 38,000 cubic yards of soil from where the former gallery parking lot stood. The massive excavation process is nearly complete. Foundations for the new building on the north side of the campus will be poured in coming weeks. Iron supports will follow. A new underground parking garage will also be built.
"The next thing that starts happening is that the building starts rising from the hole. First, you dig. Then you go up", said Sirén. "We have been very fortunate I would say during Covid that we didn't see too much interruption of work."
Another major part of the AK360 project is the restoration of the original "1905 building". A large portion of the exterior is covered with scaffolding as crews work on masonry repairs. The aging building is also getting a new roof and gutters are being restored and renovated.
A new construction fence will soon be built around the entire site. The fence will be wrapped in banners with images of the future campus. A future campus Sirén says all of Western New York will be proud of.
"I have a great sense of gratitude for Western New York for being part of this project. Of course, it is a museum campus that we are building but what we are really building is a beacon of excellence for Western New York and for future generations"
Sirén says the project remains on schedule and on budget. The future AKG Art Museum is scheduled to open in 2022.
"What's Going on With . . ." is a WKBW series focused on WNY development. Is there a project in your community that you would like to update or get more information about? Email 7 Eyewitness News Anchor Jeff Russo at email@example.com.