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Calvert Marine Museum’s Mixed News

Open this winter as remodeling is postponed

There’s lots to love at Calvert Marine Museum.
    “The lighthouse. The otters. The crabs or seahorses: Kids love them. Fossils or outboard motors or a familiar boat,” muses deputy director Sherrod Sturrock. “Everybody loves and gets excited about different things.”        So the museum’s decision to stay open January and February of 2013 is less likely to disappoint you than it is the 65-person staff, whose plan for reconstruction was to begin with that two-month shutdown.
    More disappointed, too, might be the 263 donors to the museum’s capital campaign.
    Their large and small gifts of $700,000 — plus $50,000 from the museum’s endowment — doubled the $750,000 allocated by Calvert County for making more usable space in the 29,000-square-foot exhibition building opened in 1989.
    “We see 20,000 people a year in our education program, and we have one tiny classroom,” says Sturrock. “We need education space and flexible open space.”
    A state bond bill added another $250,000 to the reconstruction fund.
    But when bids for the remodeling and infrastructure improvements came in above the museum’s $1.75 million, hopes were dashed and plans postponed.
    So the museum has asked the county commissioners to reject all the bids. That decision sends the hoped-for remodeling back to the drawing board.
    The museum will get there somehow, Sturrock insists.
    “Our biggest need is for flexible open space,” she told Bay Weekly. “We will redo the auditorium to get that. We will reconfigure the lobby to make wayfinding much more intuitive.”
    When, and how, remain open.
    So, Sturrock suggests, “If you had been meaning to contribute and hadn’t gotten around to it, now is a good time.”
    Send checks to Capital Campaign at Calvert Marine Museum, P.O. Box 97. Solomons, MD 20688.