NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- Old Dominion University broke ground today on a new museum that will be much more: an educational and cultural resource for students, faculty and the community In short, it will be a fine arts destination.

The Barry Art Museum will be a two-story, 24,000 square foot home for the emerging glass sculpture genre-, made possible through a $35 million donation from Richard and Carolyn Barry, the largest gift in ODU history.

"On behalf of their gift, it will elevate our efforts in the arts and inspire a new generation of artists and creative minds in our community" said ODU President John Broderick.

"On behalf of a very grateful city, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts," said Norfolk Mayor Kenny Alexander.

Jutta-Annette Page will serve as executive director of the Barry Art Museum, after serving as internationally acclaimed senior curator for glass and decorative arts at the Toledo Museum of Art since 2003.

"The sky is the limit," she said. "We don't know of course, ten years from now how the university is going to blossom. And we very much hope that the art museum is going to go in lockstep with that and influence it both ways so there's so much potential here that can only be described as extremely exciting."

Following today's groundbreaking, construction begins on the museum, which will be free and open to the public. The grand opening is expected in Fall, 2018.