The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum Associates, will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for renovations to the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum Visitor Center at 10 a.m. on Monday, April 22.
Representatives of both organizations will join elected officials and community leaders to begin renovations to the existing 8,700 square foot visitor center. Approximately 7,000 square feet will be added to the building.
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.
The additional space will provide a new handicapped accessible entrance, expanded exhibit galleries and a state-of-the-art collections storage area. The renovated visitor center will house galleries and exhibits, museum offices, meeting space for community groups, visitor amenities, a library and a gift shop.
The new addition, like the original visitor center constructed in 1972, will feature rough-sawn board and batten hemlock siding, which was used at many lumber camps, and stone cladding. The new entrance will be lowered to the parking lot level and include an elevator to the gallery on the main floor above.
The project also includes a new fire suppression system and a new roof. A new heating, ventilation, air conditioning and humidification system will be 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. New restrooms will be provided and the existing sanitary system will be connected to the sewage treatment facility of an adjacent commonwealth property, Denton Hill State Park.
The site is owned and operated by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC), and renovations will be overseen by the Pennsylvania Department of General Services. 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 is $5.4 million and should take about 14 months to complete. It will not affect the museum's operating schedule including the popular annual Bark Peelers' Convention held July 6-7.
The Pennsylvania Lumber Museum is one of 25 historic sites and museums along the Pennsylvania Trails of History® administered by PHMC. It is operated in partnership with the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum Associates. The museum is located on 160 wooded acres in Potter County.
For more information, visit www.lumbermuseum.org.
PHMC is the official history agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Visit PHMC online.