Gwynn’s Island Museum expands

by Quinton Sheppard - Posted on Mar 19, 2014 - 01:13 PM

Photo: Gwynn’s Island Museum volunteer Pat Kurovics, left, stands alongside museum curator Jean Tanner inside the newly-expanded area of the museum. The two ladies have spent countless hours preparing for the ribbon cutting of the museum’s expansion, which is planned for April 5. Photo by Quinton Sheppard

Gwynn’s Island Museum volunteer Pat Kurovics, left, stands alongside museum curator Jean Tanner inside the newly-expanded area of the museum. The two ladies have spent countless hours preparing for the ribbon cutting of the museum’s expansion, which is planned for April 5. Photo by Quinton Sheppard

It’s been a long time coming, but the day is almost here for the official opening of the 900-square-foot addition to the Gwynn’s Island Museum. A grand opening celebration is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 5, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony set to begin at 1:15.

Ground was broken last May for the $68,000 expansion project, which has provided space for many exhibits that the museum had acquired, but previously lacked the space to display.

What makes this project extra special, Museum curator Jean Tanner said, are the many people who have made this project possible—spanning a period of several decades—providing financial support, giving their time or donating items for exhibit.

Tanner said she and fellow volunteer Pat Kurovics have spent countless hours over the last few months assembling and dressing mannequins and putting exhibits together.

The idea for the expansion began under the tenure of past Gwynn’s Island Civic League president Art Dubey. Knowing the need for more space, Dubey spoke with Roz and John Nygren, who donated land behind the museum needed for the project.

Tanner said the original project called for a two-story addition on the back of the existing museum. The plan was later scaled down to a one-story L-shaped addition. “We’ve been able to do most everything we wanted to do with the expansion,” she said. The only thing she wished she could have had was more space upstairs to place the iconic Battle of Cricket Hill exhibit with the other military-themed exhibits.

The expansion has freed up space in the older section of the museum to make it less crowded, allowing the museum to add to existing exhibits and create new ones, Tanner said.