The Ste. Genevieve Museum and Learning Center opened on Friday morning.
The soft opening has a limited collection of items on display on the first floor. Eventually, the second floor will be finished and open to the public. When finished, both floors will consist of a world-class collection, some of which cannot be found even in large metropolitan museums.
Melissa Otto manages the docents, gift shop and the educational side of the museum. She explained the reason behind the partial opening.
“It’s been a few years, and they’ve worked so hard on getting things together,” she said. “We are at a point where we really like to invite the public in and let them see what we’re doing.
"We have several really cool displays ready. But, when you look at the building, you are going to see a lot of displays that aren’t ready yet.
“What’s going to happen on these Friday, Saturday and Sunday openings, we are going to invite people in. We will charge admission; it’s $10 for adults, $5 for students. Because we are not fully ready, we are going to give each person that comes in tickets to come back at a later date. They are really getting two visits for the price of one. This will give them a feel for what is ready.
"We do have some things in our gift shop, not much yet. Our gift shop is a place where you can visit, even if you’re not going into the museum. We invite people to come in and see the gift shop and talk to us about things they would like to see. We are going to have an area where we will help our local merchants out. We will have a market space where we will help others out.”
Currently, the center has on display fossil collections from around the world with a special focus on Missouri’s fossil types. The main display room is dominated by life-size displays of dinosaurs. In the near future, there will be displays of archaeology including Native American and prehistoric pottery, tools and weapons. Also in the future, there will be displays of various ancient civilization artifacts and historical items.
The Ste. Genevieve Museum Learning Center is located on 360 Market Street. It is open Friday-Sunday from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Phone 573-883-3466 or www.sgmlc.org
Mark Marberry is a reporter for the Farmington Press and Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3629, or at firstname.lastname@example.org
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