LIMA — Allen County Museum is currently under renovations as it prepares to both open a new exhibit and repair the interior and exterior of the building.
One of the areas of the building that is being altered are the front steps outside of the building off of the Market Street entrance and the sidewalk.
“The deterioration of the front steps made it very problematic,” said Museum Director Patricia Smith. “We don’t want anyone who got into a situation where they had to evacuate quickly end up falling down the stairs.”
The tiles on the lower level of the building, which dated back to the 1950s and contained asbestos, have been pulled up and will be replaced with better tiling.
“The floor tiles were starting to break off in pieces, and we already had a few instances where people kept catching their feet on something and were slipping,” Smith said. “Plus anything with asbestos is a concern. Floor tile is not considered as asbestos. When broken up in pieces, it can be inhaled and be dangerous.”
The final area that is being renovated is the space on the lower level where the old restrooms were located. The abandoned restrooms have been demolished to expand exhibit space.
“We wanted to reinvent that space into something attractive and usable,” said Smith.
The new exhibit, which is not expected to open until after Fall 2018, will be devoted towards celebrating the roots of Allen County, according to Smith.
The project is estimated at $225,000 and has $100,000 has been funded through a grant.
“Our No. 1 priority was safety, and these were issues that I considered as environmental and safety issues,” said Smith.
Reach Camri Nelson at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @CamriNews