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Texas African American Museum temporarily closed for $40,000 renovation

Gloria Washington, executive director, says the museum wants to "improve, not tear down, the North Tyler area.

TYLER, Minn. — Renovations are officially underway at the Texas African American Museum  to convert the old fire station into a state of the art building to preserve history. 

Gloria Washington, TAAM Executive Director says this is the first time the museum has undergone renovations at the building located off Martin Luther King Blvd, but she's, "excited about the furtherance of our visibility in the community." 

Washington says she wants the building to "showcase our city, our community."

The renovations include new flooring and a fresh paint job. A.D.A. bathrooms, open ceilings, and windows for fresh lighting and a display of the five elementary schools in North Tyler.

Washington says many students in these schools don't know the history of the prominent figures their schools are named after. Once the renovations are done, the names of the schools will be displayed with information about the person and the school. This is in partnership with Tyler ISD. CBS19 reached out to the district for a comment, but haven't heard back. 

The museum received a one-million dollar donation from Dr. Ali, former wife of Muhammad Ali, at their Black History Month Gala in February to fund phase 2 of their renovations. 

Washington says phase two will include the bay area of the museum, which is over 2000 square feet; creating more display area for their artifacts. 

Washington says, in the meantime, she's excited for the community to see the newly renovated museum. 

"I'm just amazed over what's going on here. I want everyone to know we are so appreciative for being here in the North Tyler area, and we're here to improve, not tear down."

Washington encourages everyone to attend the soft re-open in a few weeks. The museum isn't just for residents of North Tyler, but the entire Tyler community and all of East Texas. 

RELATED: Local leaders excited about $1M donation to Texas African American Museum

RELATED: Inaugural Black History Month Gala to be hosted by Texas African American Museum

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