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Museum reopening delayed by roadblocks

By Craig Campbell, Dundas Star News

Construction delays have pushed back the tentatively scheduled re-opening of the Dundas Museum, as the board of directors continues an ongoing restructuring of the 57-year-old Valley Town institution.

Board chair Clare Crozier said last week the reconstruction project has hit a couple of roadblocks converting the 138-year-old Pirie House next door from a private residence to a public use.

He said work was shut down for two weeks when the possibility of a hazardous substance within the home at 133 Park St. W. was discovered. According to Crozier, samples were tested and everything passed, but the pause created delays.

Meanwhile, additional improvements to bring the former home up to fire code for offices and educational uses have added time and money to the effort.

“As carefully as you budget…we’re already a month behind schedule,” Crozier said. “There’s no way we’re going to open in June.”

In a statement on behalf of the board issued last Friday evening, Crozier said: “The museum is undergoing a re-structuring which includes the construction expansion, in order to better align us with our mission, vision and values protocol which will be our guide going forward.

“Over the last few years the museum has begun a transformation from a largely inward looking storehouse of Dundas memorabilia and artifacts to become a modern, user-friendly exhibitor, educator and resource for the greater enjoyment of the wider community.”

The reconstruction includes a new atrium, with an elevator, connecting the existing museum building to the Pirie House – which will house staff offices, storage and enhanced education space.

Inside the existing  building, main gallery will be maintained, while an expanded archival area will be added.

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