Request for proposals for construction or renovation of Market Square location to be issued this month
The New Brunswick Museum is getting $300,000 more in operational funding from the provincial government, and possibly a new home.
Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister Trevor Holder made the announcement in Saint John on Friday, saying the additional funding will help the museum offer increased and diverse programming and services.
A request for proposals will also be issued later this month for the construction or renovation of the museum's Exhibition Centre in the waterfront area of uptown Saint John, said Holder.
The current centre, located at Market Square, is no longer able to serve the needs of the collections and visiting public, he said.
“The future of the museum is very important to our government and we are confident an improved venue for the centre will be found," Holder said in a statement.
The museum's lease at the Market Square location expires in August.
The request for proposals will be open to developers until Nov. 30.
No timeline was provided for awarding of the contract or construction completion.
The announcement comes on the heels of a series of public consultations about the museum's future, launched by the museum in May.
Jane Fullerton, the museum's chief executive officer, has said the Market Square space limits what the museum can do and makes it difficult to move large items in and out.
More than 1 million people have visited the museum since it opened in the Market Square location in 1996.
The museum is also planning a $40-million addition to its collections centre on Douglas Avenue, where artifacts are stored, research and preservation work is carried out, and curators and staff work in the science, humanities and conservation departments.
The facility houses hundreds of millions of dollars worth of artifacts, but was built in the 1930s and does not have a fire suppression system, proper lab space or climate control, Fullerton has said.
A fund-raising firm has been hired to look at possibilities for the planned 62,000-square-foot expansion.