Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum Plans Multimillion Dollar Renovat - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum Plans Multimillion Dollar Renovations Over Five Years

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CBMM's Lighthouse (Photo:WBOC) CBMM's Lighthouse (Photo:WBOC)

ST. MICHAELS, Md.-  The bell tower has just gotten a face lift, with some new paint. The lighthouse at the heart of the museum has as well.  These are just the first steps in the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum's five-year plan to renovate and restore the campus. On Wednesday, WBOC met with museum staff to walk around and talk about what the plan is.

"The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is now in it's 50th anniversary year, and one of the things that we are really doing is thinking about how we can improve the experience, how we can improve the guest experience, improve interactiveness," said Jen Matthews, major gifts officer for the museum.

These improvements are designed to last.

"We have repainted the lighthouse and the bell tower with ceramic paint that will last 25 years.  We are trying to make sure we are doing things that are sustainable," said Matthews.

The museum's tugboat "Thor," which has become a playground for children, will soon become a purpose built playground.

"Children are going to be able to go in and press a button and hear Thor's horn.  They are going to be able to make food in the galley and sleep in the bunks after a long day's work.  They're going to be able to steer."

Also on the list are the restoration of the Edna Lockwood, and refurbishment and re purposing of several buildings.  But for all this to happen, there needs to be funding, a lot of it.

"We're thinking it might be around $10 million, but as we learned with the lighthouse, with one capital improvement project, five more crop up, so we've had to replace the handrail, and we're putting a new copper roof on next year," said Matthews.

That $10 million isn't needed all at once, projects will be worked on as funding becomes available, and museum officials believe they will be able to reach their goals.  The hope is to have the bulk of the projects completed in the next three to five years.

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