SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – After more than a year of work, the first phase of a big renovation project at the Everhart Museum in Scranton is now complete.
Before the community gets its first look Saturday, Eyewitness News was given a sneak peak Friday morning.
The museum has served the city of Scranton since 1908.
Over the last 110 years, time certainly took its toll.
With the help of $220,000 in state gaming money, workers have been able to give the facility a big facelift.
Calling the Everhart the “jewel” of Scranton, museum staff expect visitors to be surprised.
“It’s a fresh new look. It’s a modern, updated look of how museums should be!” executive director Aurore Giguet said.
The most dramatic change can be seen on the second floor.
The main gallery space used to have blue walls and old carpet.
Changes have been made from the top to the bottom, fixing the pealing ceiling, adding new lighting and restoring the original floors.
“You hear the ohhs and ahhs from the people who haven’t been here in 25 years when it wasn’t redesigned so once they see the redesigned museum it’s going to create not only a buzz in the community but people will be thrilled!” Everhart board member Joseph Curtin said.
Another big change is the museum’s classroom space.
Roughly 7,000 kids used to take programs in the cramped basement but now the space has moved to the first floor of the museum and has more than doubled in size.
“We’ve been able to almost triple our capacity for students. We’ve been able to add additional classes, adult classes we’ll be running throughout the year,” Director of programs and events Stefanie Colarusso said.
With a new look and a new logo, workers want the community to rediscover the Everhart.
Even though Phase One of the renovations are complete, workers are already thinking about Phase Two, which might include adding technology and fixing up other areas.
“We’re going to be working on updating the bird and the fossil rooms next so there’s always projects that we’ll be working on!” Giguet said.
The Everhart Museum is holding a free community day Saturday from 1:00 PM until 4:00 PM.
Everyone is invited to come and check out the changes.
There will also be activity for the kids.