Hastings Museum renovating front of building

Published: Sep. 10, 2021 at 7:41 AM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - Construction started up outside of the Hastings Museum Thursday for a project the staff had long awaited. The front entrance was getting renovated to stop some water leakage around the exterior of the building, but it was decided to add some guest experience-enhancing items to the project as well.

The project will feature a new pathway that will allow museum-goers to get an up-close look at the historical statues out front. Another big piece to the project is an outdoor classroom, which schools will be able to come and learn at. Becky Tideman, marketing director for Hastings Museum, said the outdoor learning facility would also be a home to their future nature club.

Tideman said they were taking the project step-by-step and were in Phase One.

“We’re breaking up concrete, fixing some leaking at the base of the building, which we’ve fixed over the years and it’s never been anything catastrophic but we once and for all want to get that fixed. They’re regrading and putting in some concrete,” Tideman said.

Included in the first phase, Tideman said they were going to add sod and new trees around the building. She noted that they were searching for volunteers in the community to help plant the trees into the ground Oct. 2. Tideman added, this would give people the chance to see the project for themselves up close.

The outdoor classroom wasn’t scheduled to be completed until late spring 2022. Tideman said the new learning grounds was something the museum had wanted to do for quite some time.

“The research is clear of how important outdoor education is and outdoor classrooms are, so we’ve wanted to add that for a long time,” she said. “It’s the perfect complement to all of the animal exhibits we have inside, is to be able to do something with children and with families outdoors.”

For the first few weeks of the project, the museum staff asked that guests enter the building through their north entrance that was marked by flags and signs.

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