Museum’s future open to proposals

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The Central Otago District Council (CODC) wants options for the future development of the buildings and collections that collectively make up Clyde Museum.

The council has worked with Clyde Museum Inc to invite experts to put forward proposals to carry out an assessment of the options for the ongoing development of the museum’s buildings and collections, CODC property and facilities officer Christina Martin said.

The request for proposal closed on Friday and the council is working though its selection process.

The project encompassed three buildings: the Briar Herb Museum, the Clyde Railway Station and the Blythe St Museum, which were owned by the CODC and leased to Clyde Historical Museums Inc, she said.

The process began when routine maintenance showed a wall at the Briar Herb Museum was unstable and needed immediate reinforcing, she said.

“It raised the question of what were we going to do with the museum.

“Community involvement would play a large part in the process,” she said.

A collections policy had been put in place to help guide any recommendations.

“The museum committee is excited about the project. They have new members and are talking about new displays,” she said.

The CODC’s request for proposal document outlines a number of issues to be considered when looking at the best options for the museum buildings and collections, including:

Six buildings require earthquake strengthening in the near future to reach the required 34% of the national building standard.

Clyde Museum Inc is made up of volunteers and the buildings and collection are a huge undertaking for the group to maintain.

The significance of the museum’s collections is largely unknown.

Briar Herb Museum is a mixture of historical and replica buildings of which the historical significance is unknown, and the museum is not open to the public.

The historical police lock-up that is located at the back of the Blyth St Museum is under-utilised in its current location.

The development and maintenance must allow for the display of the museum’s collection, together with storage provisions, and be affordable and sustainable, the document said.