An exhibit called Prehistoric Giants marks the opening of the North Carolina Museum of Forestry in Whiteville Saturday.
WHQR’s Michelle Bliss reports that after closing its doors for nearly two years for renovations, the museum is up and running once again.
Museum Director Harry Warren says that earlier this year in the midst of the renovations, the museum got the ax in one of Governor Bev Perdue’s initial budget drafts.
‘The people of Columbus County really came together and became very active in saving the forestry museum, as well as across the state. It just didn’t make a lot of common sense to people to do a $2 million renovation and then not reopen it.”
Warren says now that the funding came through and the renovations are complete, the structure feels much more like a museum, rather than a remnant of an old bank that the building once housed.
“Long gone now are our two walk-in vaults which were part of the original museum, and also somewhat regretfully, our beloved drive-through window, which, in the early years, we would claim that we were the only museum in North Carolina with a working drive-through window.”
Along with removing those unnecessary fixtures, the renovations corrected major issues regarding handicap accessibility, mold and asbestos problems, and shortcomings regarding building and fire code regulations.
The Prehistoric Giants display is open at the museum through next summer, when a long-term exhibit called The Forest is Home will be complete.
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