A rendering of the possible museum expansion by MacDonald Hagarty Architects. The design is meant to pay homage to the Village’s mining roots. Photo submitted

Cumberland Museum and Archives explores expansion

The project is still in the early feasibility stages

The Cumberland Museum and Archives is eyeing an expansion to increase the building’s storage, exhibit area and multi-use space.

The possibility of expansion comes thanks to the Y.P. Heung Foundation who have agreed to help fund the project, which is still in the early feasibility stages.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said museum executive director Michelle Willard. “Stories of diversity continue to be the strength of the Cumberland Museum and Archives. We are so fortunate to have the interest of a foundation which recognizes the importance and value of sharing these stories with the community and beyond.”

Initial floorplans and renderings were presented to Cumberland council at their Feb. 25 meeting. At the meeting, Willard expressed the need to expand to meet the growing demands of the growing community. She outlined a visitor-centered vision for the expansion that would help better tell the story of Cumberland.

The expansion includes the vision of adding additional gallery space to showcase more of the museum’s collection, and also allow visitors to interact with it further through interactive displays, soundscapes and a theatre.

Other new additions would include a curatorial workspace for exhibit design and conservation efforts, as well as a research room for the public to dig deeper into the museum’s extensive archives.

Multi-use spaces are also a part of the initial design, which could be used for youth programming, presentations, activities and events.

The mayor and council expressed their enthusiasm for the proposed museum expansion, which would be a partnership between the Y.P. Heung Foundation, the museum and the Village.

“The museum and archives is such an important asset to our community,” said Mayor Leslie Baird. “Council welcomes this opportunity to explore the expansion of this municipal building to showcase Cumberland’s fascinating history.”

In its early stages, there is currently no estimate of cost or timeline for the project.

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