Museum of Discovery damages from snowstorm into the millions

Local News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- The water damage at the Museum of Discovery is much more substantial than anticipated.

Originally the damage was estimated to be a couple hundred thousand, now it’s going to be more than a million.

“That’s the thing about a flood, anyone who’s been through anything like that. Water just permeates everything,” said Kelley Bass, Museum of Discovery CEO.

The beloved Museum of Discovery is almost unrecognizable as crews are dealing with the fall out of broken pipes.

“They’re cleaning up, all the carpet is ripped out, the drywall and sheetrock is being ripped out,” said Bass.

Museum CEO Kelley Bass said the clean-up is uncovering just how bad things are.

“The cost to repair the building, I think that included furniture but doesn’t include equipment, but it includes flooring and walls and damage to the actual building and some of the contents- they’re thinking about one million and a half dollars,” said Bass.

Possibly millions more lost in two of the three galleries that had ankle deep standing water.

“All of the exhibits or almost all of them have a lot of electronic components to them and so if they got wet, chances are they aren’t going to work,” said Bass.

To give you an idea of the price tag, nine years ago the museum invested 5.5 million dollars in 80 exhibits.

Bass said he expects at least half to be completely ruined.

“If taking on water rendered them ruined and nonfunctional then a lot of them are because they all got rained on pretty hard in those two galleries,” said Bass.

Bass said there is a silver lining coming out of the flooding.

“There’s a good likelihood that we are going to be able to bring in some new stuff so when someone comes back to the museum when we are completely open and have our new exhibits that someone can say wow this is cool, they didn’t used to have this one,” said Bass.

A reopening date has not yet been set but Bass said they hope to be open by June first, just in time for summer camps.

“We just want to see those smiling faces again,” said Bass.

In addition to new exhibits, Bass said several areas of the museum might look completely different once they reopen.

If you want to support the museum, click here.

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