Assembly committee updated on status of city museum

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(Photo credit: CBJ.)

Juneau, Alaska (KINY) – The Juneau Assembly Public Works and Facilities Committee attended a presentation on the need for a new municipal museum.

Museum director Beth Weigel wrote in a note that the historic building, now 71 years old, is in dire need of additional upgrades to address an ongoing and growing water seepage issue that puts the permanent collection in jeopardy. hazard.

City manager Rorie Watt said the project started several years ago but was derailed due to COVID.

“To make the museum more accessible to local people and visitors, a year-round activity on the waterfront, to improve our capital campus and to fund it with a variety of funding methods, including passenger fees with l “cruise ship industry, tentatively accepting partial funding. Grant foundations like Rasmussen and fund advisers,” he said. “The museum director has an update providing that as we enter in the 1% sales tax discussion, we need to sort of re-establish what this project is and why it exists, and the last thing I’ll say there’s no option to do nothing. This is another 70 year old building that we own.

One of the challenges shared by museum director Weigel was poorly insulated windows that allow moisture to build up indoors that deteriorates window coverings indoors.

Weigel said another issue is collection capacity.

“You’ll see here in the collection processing that all of our art storage space for art is full, and you’ll see some of the archival material that’s in the permanent collection there. There’s still some space and then our collection storage rooms. Lots of things there that are created purely for storage solutions, but again a lot of those places are very full. We have very little room for many things.

Weigel talked about the benefits of a new city museum.

“Definitely an increase in accessibility, at the moment we don’t have parking. It’s a bit more difficult to get to because people have to walk up. I think we could definitely see more accessibility on the waterfront for both our community and seasonal visitors. We would also see that a larger space would bring more collection storage space, which is a direct part of our mission as a public trust, to collect and display and interpret the things we have in our collection.

In addition, they anticipate increased revenue from admissions, museum store sales, rentals and programs.

The current facility is 5500 square feet.

According to a 2019 space document, 12,968 square feet is the proposal for a new city museum, and a cost estimate made at the time pegged the cost at $8–9 million.

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