“It gets so hot eight months each year,” David Crum, director of the museum, explains.
“Almost no one will visit, and when the few do, they run out the door in a few minutes and jump in their air conditioned car to recover. It is been such a shame.”
As customers come into the museum, their chief complaint has never been about the way the museum looks, but the weather inside the museum.
From sweating in the summer, to freezing during the winter in the upstairs archives, the museum has always been at the whims of the weather outside.
These changes in weather have varying effects, from customer and employee discomfort, to severe artifact and record deterioration.
“Extreme heat and cold can very easily damage fragile records and artifacts by making them unstable, and thus susceptible to breakage,” Kayleigh Last, curator of the museum, expresses with regret. “It’s important to keep an artifact in a controlled environment in order to lengthen the lifespan of the artifact. This is why a museum must protect against the heat, cold, light, and moisture.”
However, the museum’s temperature being controlled by the elements outside will soon be a thing of the past. With approvals from the County Commission, the air in the museum will at last be regulated. Long overdue, the Commissioners approved and contracted Vaughan Heating and Cooling of Leesburg for the job. On July 24, 2012, the duct work for the new air conditioning units began. To do the job right, Vaughan contracted RT Sheet Metals. After completing the first floor, they will be moving on to the second. After that, the only thing left will be the actual units themselves.
“Wow!” Crum says excitedly. “We will now be comfortable for our visitors, class trips, community meetings, chartered bus tours, birthday parties and more, and most importantly, the old County legal records will now survive far into future centuries.”
The expected date is still unsure as to when it will be finished, but it looks like the wait will soon be over. For more information, or for further questions, call (256) 927-7835 or visit the museum website at www.museumatcentre.com.