WASHINGTON COUNTY, Md. (DC News Now) — For many years, the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts has showcased exhibits from all across the region, including some that showcase Hagerstown’s history. Now, the museum is able to take it one step further by expanding.

“We’re limited in what we can do with this building,” Executive Director Sarah Hall said. “It’s a gorgeous historical building, but where we can add to it and the changes that we can make are limited. We want to be able to do more with our public.”

The expansion will include more exhibit space as well as the renovation of three unused buildings for museum activities. Though the price for the project is $18 million, what it brings to the community is priceless.

“We want to be able to offer more classes, we want to be able to do things like full-week summer camps for kids,” Hall explained. “We want to be able to say yes to the community. When we get phone calls and people want to do things at the museum, we want to have the space to welcome them.”

Judi Atwell is a frequent museum visitor and is excited about the new things the museum will bring and thinks it will launch a new era of art.

“That’s exciting, we’re excited about that,” Atwell said. “We came here, and it was just so nice to be so close and not have to go down to Baltimore and not have to go down to DC to see some really good art.”

“There’ll be wonderful exhibitions, but there will also be really interesting ways to engage with and learn through those exhibitions and that’s what we’re going to activate with this work,” Hall said.

Construction on the expansion is expected to start late next year.