- Associated Press - Friday, February 25, 2011

BRIDGEPORT, CONN. (AP) - A Connecticut museum celebrating flamboyant showman P.T. Barnum will need to raise up to $17 million to renovate and repair its historic building damaged by a tornado last year.

Officials said Friday that repairs will cost $6 million or $7 million. But overhauling exhibition space and fixing other areas in the Bridgeport building are expected to raise the cost to between $15 million and $17 million.

The project is expected to take more than two years.

Built in the 1890s, the building is owned by the city of Bridgeport and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It has been closed since Jan. 2 to assess damage and preserve the prized collection.

The rare tornado caused structural damage and scattered debris when it swept through Bridgeport last June.

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