VERNON – The Osgoode Township Historical Museum is up and running after 11 months of renovations.
Staff celebrated with a grand re-opening Sat., June 1.
The popular local museum has been closed for almost a year as its roof was replaced, along with some changes made to its interior.
The facility is taking a more progressive and forward thinking philosophy as it moves into its next chapter.
The museum’s executive director, Jillian Metcalfe said, “We will be bringing our unique rural history forward.”
The past 11 months have been difficult for the museum.
“The city has been really good to work with,” said Metcalfe.
The renovations included track lighting for the Elizabeth Stuart Research Room, as well as new drywall in the building.
The delays in finishing the museum project were in part because of the age of the existing building.
The president of the Osgoode Township Museum board, Carolle Dallas-Arbuckle, said to the crowd gathered for the ribbon cutting, “I am inviting you to journey with us as we open a new door with a new vision to foster a sense of community identity by inspiring curiosity about our shared rural life past and present.”
The region’s residents have been waiting for the museum to re-open.
Osgoode Ward Councillor George Darouze said, “We had a problem with the roof. When you went inside the water was dripping from the ceiling. It is a very old building.”
He said since the building was constructed building codes have changed and that caused delays in getting everything done.
“I was able to work with the city to get the funding to remove the roof, but we got a little bit delayed because when they came to inspect the structure we found more deficiencies. It was a bigger job than we thought,” he said.
For example, when engineers looked at the roof they discovered there was a second roof under the existing one that had to be removed.
“Then we had insulation issues, electrical issues and structural issues. Things started piling up,” he said. Darouze remembers meeting with the city and worrying if the renovations would happen at all.
Despite starting off in 2016 to work on the museum building it was not until this past November that all of the necessary engineering reports were finished.
“The museum board was very understanding,” said Darouze. “They understood that we were going to fix it properly,” he said. “They were very happy to hear in November that the building could be saved and that the renovations would go ahead.” “It is a happy day for us today.”
Former Osgoode councillor, and now a museum board member, Doug Thompson, said,” It is a great day. We were a bit disappointed that it took so long, but it is a very important part of the community.”