Notes from Nick

Dear Friends and Partners,

Much has happened with our organization since we were last in touch through our newsletter.  Please know that we’ve attempted to keep you informed through website, social media, and local media updates. Your patience has been so appreciated during this very unique time.

To summarize, the smell of tobacco odor in our facility intensified to such a degree in late 2017 that we decided to conduct air quality testing to confirm, with data, what our noses had been telling us to be true for many months prior.  The museum operation closed in early December while we completed two rounds of testing, the second being a tobacco-specific analysis. This test did, in fact, demonstrate evidence of tobacco exposure in our facility.

Receiving these results in January, we began a more serious negotiation with our landlord to determine possible solutions. These were quickly narrowed to two:  1) Identifying the source(s) of the smoke before permanently modifying the facility to safeguard our space.  Then, fully remediating our museum facility to ensure no tobacco contaminants remain.  2)  Negotiating an exit from our current lease and subsequently relocating our operations to a clean, safe environment.

Neither of these routes will happen quickly.  Given this, we are proactively planning behind the scenes to strengthen our museum and family education programs.  An important part of this planning, and relevant to both above solutions, is the need to rotate our museum inventory.  We will be moving out the majority of our current exhibit inventory and replacing it with fresh, new materials when we reopen. For details, click here.

We’re confident that reopening our museum operation will take several months in either case.  We ask for your continued patience during this transition, that we believe will ultimately result in a new and improved experience for you, our patrons.  In the meantime, we’ve arranged a special discounted admission for our museum members with our generous partner, spectrUM Discovery Area. Our staff is also discussing options for resuming memberships in a way that fairly accounts for the time lost during our temporary closure.

While our museum experience is transforming, our parent education work continues at full capacity.  Ironically, the museum closure is creating time and space for our organization’s path toward a more fully blended museum and family education philosophy.  You’ll learn more about this in the near future.

We will remain in touch as we can with updates on our facility negotiations and any specific needs for your support therein.  Know that we are focused and energized, not only on fully reopening, but on enhancing our entire scope of services.  Thank you for being with us during this important transition.


Nick Roberts
Executive Director