Museum upgrade progressing

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Curator of social history Chris Rapley (left) and curator of documentary history Tony Rippin with a model of stage two of South Canterbury Museum's mezzanine floor exhibition space upgrade.

Stage two of South Canterbury Museum’s mezzanine floor exhibition space upgrade is under way.

Museum director Philip Howe said some of the work was taking place off-site, including cabinetry which would be used for display purposes.

Builders are on-site this week measuring the floor area so they can construct a raised floor.

“Once floors and cases are in place, museum staff will begin installing images, objects, digital touchscreens, audio-visual displays and information panels,” Mr Howe said.

“This work will take several months, which may see it finished by the end of the year.”

The displays being installed will focus on aspects of local life in the 20th century, following on from the first stage of the exhibition area that opened at Easter this year.

Stage one is called “Times of Change – Aspects of Local Life 1870-1940”.

It illustrates a range of topics relevant to South Canterbury, including Takata Whenua, which looks at how local Maori communities have reacted and changed.

“Putting Down Roots” is another topic featured in stage one, which looks at the growth of towns and aspects of local communities. A “Nought to Port”display looks at shipwrecks.

“The first stage has received an overwhelmingly positive response from the public, and the second stage development will use similar elements to create an engaging and informative environment for visitors,” Mr Howe said.

All funding for stage two had been raised externally.

“With an estimated cost of $180,000, we are seeking to raise around $40,000 to complete the job.”