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Museum sets 3-week seismic upgrade closure

Contractors will reinforce exhibit hall's walls

The Washington County Museum will close next week for three weeks of construction.

The temporary closure, scheduled for Feb. 12 through March 10, will allow for seismic upgrades to reinforce exhibit walls, according to Marcia Hale, director of guest operations and public programs.

“We’ve known for a while now that this was coming,” said museum board president Betty Atteberry. She said museum officials had hoped the work could be done on the days the museum is closed (Sunday, Monday and Tuesday).

“Turns out it’s more cost effective and quicker to move all the stuff out of the way” and have the contractors complete the work all at once, Hale said.

Exhibits will be taken down and temporarily stored where the technology exhibit sits in another part of the museum, she added.

The closure requires cancellation of the Free Family Day scheduled for Feb. 14, the Feb. 18 Crossroads lecture with John Terry, and the March 3 Art Walk open house.

The Crossroads lecture has been rescheduled for May 20 at 6:30 p.m. The next Free Family Day is March 14 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

When the museum moved into the space at 120 E. Main St. above Starbucks, Hale said, “It was a big open space.” Walls were added to separate exhibit spaces, she added, and it is those walls that need reinforcement.

“This has always been part of the plan,” said Hale.

“We want to give the contractors enough time to do what they need to do, but naturally if we can reopen earlier, we will,” Atteberry said. Construction will not affect the Outdoors In play area or Starbucks, the two businesses downstairs.

Construction updates and reopening details will be on the museum website, washingtoncountymuseum.org.


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