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Sarasota News Leader January 25, 2013 Page 50 More than $15 million has been raised so far to create the Sarasota Museum of Art (SMOA) in the original 1928 Sarasota High School building. "Fifteen million, five hundred twenty seven thousand, five hundred and fifteen dollars and 85 cents." Sirkus interjected off the top of her head. That was the news this week from Larry Thompson, president of Ringling College of Art and Design, and Wendy Surkis, the president of SMOA, who appeared before the Sarasota County School Board with an update on that project and a sculpture under way at the museum site. Thompson praised the work and devotion of Surkis as he addressed the board during its Jan. 22 workshop. "The first of the obstacles was the need to raise $22 million before we can really start the restoration of the high school. … We are roughly at $15.5 [million] right now," Thompson told the board, turning to Surkis for confirmation. "Raising that money in this economy is quite impressive," said Jane Goodwin, the School Board chairwoman. "I often get the question, and you might, too, as to why don't we start construction," Thompson continued. "The reason is, the $22 million is made up of about $14 million for the actual refurbishing of the high school, and $8 million is for the endowment for the actual Sculptor Patrick Dougherty's Stickworks is expected to be completed by Jan. 26 at the site of the Sarasota Museum of Art. Photo by Scott Proffitt

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