There’s nothing like success to cause problems. That’s certainly the case for New Iberia’s Bayou Teche Museum, which finally opened its doors this year, after nearly two decades of planning. The building, the former Sports Center, a legendary New Iberia bar and bouree parlor, seemed enormous at first. But as exhibits were constructed and donations accepted, the space quickly filled up and the museum started looking for storage space.

That’s where crisis met opportunity. The museum is sandwiched between the restored Evangeline movie theater, which is now a city-owned performing arts center and a two-story brick building that has lately housed a thrift shop, a coffee shop that never opened and finally stood vacant. The brickwork is the finest in the city. The building just came on the market.

Bayou Teche Museum board member Paul Schexnayder says the board is frantically raising money to buy the building, and is only $70,000 short of the goal. The agreement between the museum and the property owner ends on Dec. 15. Once the building is acquired, it will be donated to the city of New Iberia, which will then own the entire block of historic structures.

Schexnadyer is looking for donations to help with the museum’s expansion. To make a donation, call him at (337) 321-1956.

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