The Federal Emergency Management Agency is teaming up with Volusia County to rebuild the Daytona Museum of the Arts and Sciences by spending $5.5 million to raise the floor of the west wing of the building by about five feet. Museum Director Andy Sandall says the repairs are needed as a result of flooding from a nearby canal during heavy rains in 2009.
"The museum really came underwater. The whole of the west wing was underwater. The canal came over the road, and really took the damage to this part of the building, the west wing."
The plan to raise the floor of the museum is ambitious. Sandall was overjoyed when he first heard what was proposed.
"We have to raise the whole floor of this side to get it down, to get the west wing up to the same size, the same height as the rest of the building. So one of the plans they have is to reuse the roofs which are pretty new and in very good structure. They will lift the roofs up, rebuild the building underneath, and then drop the top back on top again.
The funding plan calls for nearly $4 million from FEMA, plus another $1.3 million from a Volusia County fund called ECHO. It stands for Environmental, Cultural, Historic and Outdoor and voters passed the additional 20 year tax back in 2000. Sandall says the museum is also giving what it can.
"The museum is putting in about 400 thousand dollars."
The ambitious plan was crafted because Sandall says it would cost even more to replace the entire building. They also wanted to keep the hexagonal shaped roof since it is in excellent condition and is a unique landmark for the building.