Chippewa Valley Museum set to undergo a major makeover - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Chippewa Valley Museum set to undergo a major makeover


Eau Claire (WQOW) - An Eau Claire museum will soon take what is old and make it new again with a big overhaul. The Chippewa Valley Museum will soon be putting up construction walls as it prepares for a change to its main gallery.

"By the end of the first week of December, everything that is before us will be gone," said Carrie Ronnander, Chippewa Valley Museum Curator.

Its time for a change at the Chippewa Valley Museum; what was two separate exhibits will soon become one.

"The current exhibit we're standing in is Settlement and Survival, and it really talks about the communities that grew up around saw mills developed. So it's about late 1850's through the 1920's," Ronnander explain.

The other exhibit focuses on the indigenous people of the region in the years before the settlement started. The two exhibits are scheduled to be removed in two weeks.

"The new exhibit is going to try and blend those stories better, and take the community story that ends right now in 1920 and take it up to the 21st century," added Ronnander.

The museum wants its new exhibit to be more kid-friendly and in order for that to happen, they're including several hands-on activities.

"We're going to have the kids get the opportunity to vacation by fishing in a fishing hole," Ronnander said as she showed off a model of the new exhibit.

Switching over to the new exhibit is something that hasn't been done in the main gallery in more than 20 years. Other parts of the museum will remain open during the reconstruction, with one exception.

"For about two weeks, right around the holidays, end of December, first week of January. Because taking out the ceiling is going to be messy," said Ronnander.

The museum plans to officially open its new exhibit just in time for the Fourth of July weekend next summer. The cost of the makeover is $850,000 with about half of that coming from two matching grants.

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