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Friday, February 5, 2016

Museum Running Out of Space

Southampton | by John Divinski  

Bruce County hears the Museum in Southampton is bursting at the seams.

The Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre in Southampton is bursting at the seams, and an Interim Accommodation Report calls for moves to create more space.

The Bruce County Council Museum Committee heard Thursday from consultant Robert Barnett, Chair of Museum Planning Partners who says the gallery space has been pretty well used to its maximum.

Barnett says it's not a crisis yet but it's coming.

He says right now the museum has rooms serving double duty, such as a mechanical room storing furniture and a shower facility, storing costumes.

Director of Museum and Cultural Services for Bruce County, Cathy McGirr, points out although the doubling up is happening, it is not at the expense of sensitive archival or collection items.

For instance, she says the costumes being stored in a shower room area, are costumes that museum interpreters wear, not costumes that go on display.

However, McGirr says, the problem is not going to go away.

Consultant Barnett says the Bruce Museum is one of the best at using the space it has but they do need more room.

Many options were presented for future fixes.

The most provocative was taking over the surrounding land to create what Barnett calls a Cultural Park.

To the north, it would include G. C. Huston School and the playground and to the south, the Rectory owned by St Paul's Anglican Church.

He says the entire area could have an expanded museum, a stand-alone theatre, a library and a school and perhaps an academy or college.

Barnett says in any event, something will need to be done in the next five years.

The committee approved sending the report back to staff for further input and potential costing.

In the meantime, committee members will be meeting at the museum in the future to have a walk-through the facility to see conditions for themselves.




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