The Daniel O. Morris Center for Lowcountry Heritage in Ridgeland will add 2,550 square feet to the museum and cultural facility. The renovations to an old building adjacent to the center will provide a new event space and a commercial kitchen.

The expansion will provide “plenty of opportunity for bringing events, dinners and receptions to downtown Ridgeland,” said Annmarie Reiley-Kay, director of the Morris Center.

When the project is complete in late summer, the center will be able to host a variety of private and community events in the new multi-functional gallery, meeting space and light-filled park setting located on the interior of the block.

The first major event to be held in the new space will be the Center’s annual gala, “Dine, Dance and Discover,” scheduled for Sept. 22. Themed “Come Grow With Us,” the gala will include cocktails, dinner, a silent auction and dancing to live music by Bobby Ryder and his band.

“This year’s gala is extra special because we will host it in our own home, so to speak,” Reiley-Kay said. “In years past, it’s been a challenge to find a beautiful, local space that would allow us to bring in our own chef or caterers. We’re thrilled now to be able to offer that capability to our community.”

The expansion aligns with the cultural center’s mission to preserve and cultivate the area’s local heritage. “From my perspective, we are repurposing a portion of the commercial historic downtown into a civic space that helps record and convey Ridgeland’s rich culture and history for future generations,” Reiley-Kay said.

Designed to host private and public events of all kinds, the new gallery will add 2,100 square feet of floor space to accommodate 142 guests, and when coupled with the center’s current space, the facility will handle 210.

The new 450-square-foot commercial-grade kitchen makes the Morris Center the only location in downtown suitable for large catered functions. Future plans also include offering cooking classes and more culinary-themed events.

Located in the heart of downtown Ridgeland on U.S. 17, the Daniel O. Morris Center for Lowcountry Heritage is a learning and exhibition center dedicated to preserving and cultivating the history, culture and spirit of Ridgeland and its surrounding counties. Housed in a collection of vintage buildings, with the architecturally distinctive Sinclair Service Station as its focal point, the center features ever-changing exhibitions, interactive and dynamic learning opportunities, cultural offerings, storytelling and other forms of art.

The Morris Center is located at 10782 S. Jacob Smart Blvd. For more information, call 843-284-9227 or visit MorrisHeritageCenter.org.