Renovated Georgia Southern Museum to reopen this spring

Alexis Hampton

STATESBORO  — The 80-year-old Georgia Southern museum is planning to reopen in February or early March, after closing over a year ago for structural issues.

The museum has renovated some of the old permanent exhibits, such as the Mosasaur exhibit, as well as added in a new Human History and Coastal Plains, Georgia exhibit.

It will also debut its first dual-language exhibit, featuring Latin American folk art.

The museum put forth $500,000 of its own funds as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars donated by the university, GS Museum director Brent Tharp said.

With the museum closing, it was an opportunity to start fresh and expand on some of the history that was excluded in the museum before. 

“We looked at ourselves internally and said, well look, if we’re going to do this, then this is an opportunity to use some of those rainy day funds and other things that we pulled together to really take an opportunity and open up all-new [exhibits] and expand,” Tharp said. 

Built in 1939, the museum was forced to close down in summer 2018, when the plaster ceilings started to cave in.

Originally, the museum was supposed to reopen in fall 2019, according to the museum website. 

The delay was a result of extensive structural repair and the fabrication of exhibit design, which was difficult to achieve with such a small staff, Tharp said.

Tharp said students will be able to participate in the curation of exhibits within the museum. 

Tharp said, “Our goal is to make sure that our students here are not just visitors, [which is] a great opportunity, but that they’re also curators, designers, content builders and educators as part of the program.” 

Alexis Hampton, The George-Anne news editor, [email protected]