Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum Associates, will hold a grand reopening and rededication ceremony for renovations to the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum Visitor Center at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 15.
The museum, located in Galeton, Potter County, interprets the colorful heritage of the state's prosperous lumber era when white pine and hemlock were the wealth of the nation.
Representatives of both organizations will join elected officials, community leaders and the public to celebrate the completed renovation to museum. Approximately 7,000 square feet has been added to the building.
In addition to marking the completion of the renovation project, May 15 also marks the opening of “Challenges and Choices in Pennsylvania’s Forests,” a new permanent exhibit chronicling the history of Pennsylvania’s lumber industry and the forest conservation efforts that have ensured the survival of this important natural resource.
The additional space includes a new ADA-compliant entrance, expanded exhibit galleries and a state-of-the-art collections storage area. The renovated visitor center also houses museum offices, meeting spaces for community groups, visitor amenities, a library and a gift shop.
The new addition, like the original visitor center constructed in 1972, features rough-sawn board and batten hemlock siding, which was used at many lumber camps, and stone cladding. The new entrance, now at ground level, features an elevator to the gallery on the main floor above making the facility more accessible to all visitors.
The project also includes a new fire suppression system and a new roof. A new heating, ventilation, air conditioning and humidification system was a major component of the project because of the importance of maintaining stable temperature and relative humidity levels for museum collections.
Sustainability is a key element in the renovation, with energy efficient lighting, occupancy sensors, natural day lighting and a geothermal heating and cooling system all incorporated in the design.
The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) owns and operates the site. The Pennsylvania Department of General Services has overseen the renovations. The visitor center renovation and expansion was designed by Larson Design Group of Williamsport. Arris Engineering of Wilkes-Barre designed the fire protection infrastructure. The prime contractors responsible for construction are Caldwell, Heckles & Egan Inc., Lancaster, (general contractor); Silvertip Inc., Lewisburg, (HVAC); W.C. Eshenaur & Son Inc., Harrisburg, (plumbing); and A&MP Electric, Guys Mills (electrical).
The renovation budget was $5.4 million and took approximately 17 months to complete.
The “Challenges and Choices in Pennsylvania’s Forests” exhibit was designed by Hilferty Museum Planning and Exhibit Design of Athens, Ohio and fabricated by Studio Displays of Pineville, North Carolina with extensive input and support by the PHMC and the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum Associates.
The Pennsylvania Lumber Museum is one of 25 historic sites and museums along the Pennsylvania Trails of History® administered by PHMC. The museum, operated in partnership with the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum Associates, is located on 160 wooded acres in Potter County.
PHMC is the official history agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Visit PHMC online at www.phmc.state.pa.us.
MEDIA CONTACT: Howard Pollman, 717-705-8639
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