Despite ongoing construction, most of the Museum is open to the public. The remaining spaces will be accessible sometime in May. Construction is expected to continue into early summer. However, it should not adversely affect anyone’s experience of the Museum.
The original goal of construction was to double the Museum’s collections storage and improve some of its public spaces. The plan grew to include a new curatorial workspace and even more renovations. This required major changes to the HVAC system and a significant increase in supplies, both of which extended the original time frame. Sadly, the length of the project increased again after Hurricane Harvey hit several Houston-based suppliers.
Nonetheless, the original goal of construction has been realized. Collection storage was completed in 2017. The area, which doubles as a space for exhibits, will open soon. Several galleries were completed in 2017 as well. The remaining public spaces—including the Acro Gallery—will open in May.
Some of the most notable changes have been the least visible. For example, the Museum’s lighting and HVAC system have been completely modernized. The HVAC system is better at maintaining stable humidity levels than the previous one. The new lights are more energy efficient and less damaging to collections. These changes, along with an upgraded storage facility, will make object preservation much easier.
As construction enters its final phase, Routh Enterprises and its associated contractors are working harder than ever. Currently, workers are expanding the Museum’s parking lot, finishing the remaining curatorial areas and working on the roof. Contractors will be begin installing the glass “face” of the Museum in the coming weeks. The remaining public spaces will be completed shortly after the face is installed.