Gaming Grant Gives Everhart Museum Major Facelift

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SCRANTON -- The Everhart Museum in Scranton has brought art and culture to the community for more than 100 years. Now, the museum is about to get a major facelift thanks to casino money.

City officials told employees at the Everhart Museum, "good things come to those who work."

The $220,000 gaming grant was approved in April, and the renovation project employees have dreamed of is now underway.

"This gaming money is really going to be able to not only transform some of the rooms and floors in the museum, but also just be able to upkeep a building that's over 100 years," said Joseph Curtin, president of the Everhart's board of directors.

The ceiling is peeling and walls need to be painted, but the grant will be used for more than just renovations to the 100-year-old building.

"We're going to be doing some behind-the-scenes things with our collections, which as a museum nerd, that's so exciting for me. We're going to be moving the fine art collection downstairs," said executive director Aurore Giguet.

Renovations have actually already begun. The first phase of the project is to replace the museum's elevator.

With the elevator currently out of service, we took the stairs to the second floor where permanent collections that have been there for a decade will soon change.

"The interior spaces will be completely different, so it's a great time to come and see what's been going on and there will be things out on display that have never been seen before," said Giguet.

And these new exhibits will hopefully draw in new crowds and get old crowds to return.

"They have such fond memories of the Everhart. People talk about the bees, or the rocks, or the dinosaurs and they don't know on a yearly basis many of the rooms change," said Curtin.

For the next several months, parts of the museum will be closed for periods of time, but employees hope this will lead to more donations and grants.

"People want to be able to give money to an institution that's vibrant and alive and maybe not something that's on the downward slide," Curtin added.

Renovations are expected to be completed by February.