SOLOMONS, Md. (December 20, 2018)—The Calvert Marine Museum (CMM) will be temporarily shutting its doors, beginning Tuesday, January 1, 2019, for renovations on the Mezzanine level of the Exhibition Hall. Construction to revitalize the museum and expand educational spaces will last through the winter, with doors reopening in March and project completion scheduled for May.
The construction project is the second part of a two-phase plan that included the renovation of the Harms Gallery and Lobby in 2014. Goals of Phase II include the creation of two large classrooms for educational programming, a new unisex bathroom, improved handicap access to the exhibit area, and expanded work space for education staff. The new classrooms are an especially exciting addition. Each will have the capacity to hold up to 30 students and the dividing wall separating these rooms will be able to fold down and create one large programming space. The classrooms will also come equipped with sinks, storage, and state-of-the-art smartboards.
"I am very excited about finally getting proper spaces for our Education Department. This is the largest department at the museum, and the one that produces most of the programming. With this renovation, they will have space specially designed for programming, as well as adequate office and storage space," says CMM Director, Sherrod Sturrock. She adds, "It's been a long time coming, and will help us continue to offer exceptional programming to our visitors."
Since 2005, CMM's education program attendance has increased by 382%. In addition to school field trips, this includes a wide range of educational opportunities available to children, such as preschool sessions, Homeschool Days, Special Needs Nights, Chesapeake Field Lab experiences, and programming on school holidays. Additionally, the museum offers much for adults, including the Road Scholar program, annual lecture series, and many interest-specific clubs. After the Phase II expansion is complete, CMM will be better suited to continue to serve the community as one of Southern Maryland's largest education providers.
During the closure, CHESPAX field trips will continue to take place offsite and the Patuxent Small Craft Guild will be operating. However, the majority of programming will pause and the museum and Museum Store will be closed to the public until March. A complete list of March events and activities will be available in February. In the meantime, members and non-members alike are encouraged to stay connected with the museum online, through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and CMM's website: calvertmarinemuseum.com.
Colimore Architectural Firm of Baltimore was selected to do the architectural and engineering design. W.M. Davis of Leonardtown was selected as the general contractor.