$10M Auburn welcome center will open this week

After weeks of anticipation, the Equal Rights Heritage Center in downtown Auburn has released its opening date.

The $10 million welcome center on South Street will host a grand opening at 10 a.m. Tuesday with a “special unveiling,” a press release stated Friday. State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey, Mayor Michael Quill and several state and community leaders will be present.

This long-awaited opening date announcement comes after a slight delay from city officials’ original projections to be open by late October.

Quill had announced last week that the center was almost complete, but needed a couple more weeks to finish construction — which began in February. At that time, finishing touches, including a new statue of Harriet Tubman in the building’s courtyard, were still in the works.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the project last year. It’s being funded through the state’s $500 million Upstate Revitalization Initiative for the central New York region. He said that the center will pay tribute to historical figures with area connections such as Harriet Tubman and William Seward, who lived in Auburn and fought for equal rights.

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