A prominent Volusia County business owner helped break ground on a new $13 million art museum in Daytona Beach Monday.
The Cici and Hyatt Brown Museum of Art is named after the chairman of the board of Brown and Brown insurance and his wife. Both donated $13 million to build the facility, which is being built next to the existing Museum of Arts and Sciences on South Nova Road.
The original museum flooded in the past so the new building is flood-resistant.
When it's complete, the foundation will sit about a foot higher than the sidewalk on Nova Road.
Even if the retention ponds overflow, engineers said the museum will be safe.
The museum will be completed in two years and will be the new centerpiece of the Museum of Arts and Sciences.
"This really is the next phase of the museum and the new generation of the museum coming together," Andrew Sandall, director of the Museum of Arts and Sciences said.
"We've got all these fabulous things going on here, so this is one more element to make it even better for the whole county and the state," said donor Cici Brown.
Before construction, workers have to flatten the soft swampy land with a large pile of dirt equal to the weight of the building.
The site is the highest elevation on the museum property. In 2009, floods damaged the existing museum.
At the time, workers had to pump 50,000 gallons of water from the building. The new building will be flood resistant to protect precious paintings.
"When this museum opens, we're going to have 2,600 (pieces) of Florida art. This museum itself will contain 500 paintings," Sandall said.
The new building will also have a gift shop and a cafe. It fronts Nova Road, which leaders believe will draw more tourists and locals in the coming years.
It will take about 60 days for the land to settle using the weight of this dirt.
Construction will begin and the museum is expected to be completed by January 2015.
Look through the artist renderings of what the new museum will look like when it's finished at wftv.com/slideshows.