World of Little League News Conference - 4/24/13
The museum closed September 4, 2012, for major renovations. A grand opening is planned for Saturday, June 15, 2013, during National Little League Week. The first Little League game ever played was on June 6, 1939.
Artist conceptual drawing of the Museum Store and Inning 1, a movie theater in-the-round.
Little League Museum Renovations on Schedule
Passersby on Route 15 may be wondering what is happening at the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum. It is closed for a $4 million renovation project and is to open in June 2013.
Huge Dumpsters are in front of the building and the parking lot is closed except for construction traffic. At times, sparks can be seen from welding. The bricks to the front entrance wall at the portico were removed and a wooden replacement wall built. Most of the story, however, is on the inside.
What could not be seen included the meticulous removal and packing of all of the artifacts by museum staff who was helped by Little League Baseball and Softball maintenance employees to haul everything to storage.
That was followed by an influx of volunteers from county museums and other organizations including RESTORE, which is part of Habitat for Humanity, who removed fixtures they expect to use in their buildings. Then came the destruction: carpet, dry wall, lighting fixtures and walls were removed to make way for progress.
At the end of November, about two months into the project, contractors have inserted steel beams to support areas where walls were removed and installed frames for the relocated walls. The flow of the museum will be different than it was because all of the exhibits will be located on the main floor. The lower level will house archives, offices, a classroom and storage.
Construction workers are in the rafters and throughout the two-story building preparing the way for a more efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning system as well as framing the walls.
While all of this construction work is going on, the museum staff is busy weighing and measuring each object to be placed on display in preparation for the exhibit fabricators to finish their work. In addition, there are captions to write, research to complete, policies to update, brochures to redo, programs to develop, museum store items to order, and countless other decisions to make.
And, of course, there are meetings with the general contractor, Quandel Construction Group, Harrisburg, Pa., the design and architectural firm, Cambridge 7 Associates of Cambridge, Mass.; not to mention South Williamsport Borough officials, and a host of others.
Students at Lycoming College hosted a Fall Ball Festival on the complex in November raising nearly $1,000 to be used toward an exhibit about Little League’s loveable mascot, Dugout. The form for Dugout is being sculpted by Williamsport Pattern Works in Montoursville, Pa. The original costume left Nov. 28 to be fitted on a form.
There remains a lot of work to be done, but as the interior walls are erected, the “new” museum is being reborn.