If you were hoping to make a winter visit to the Calvert Marine Museum, you’ll have to postpone the trip— They’re closed from January 1 until March. But the temporary closure will bring big improvements.
The Southern Maryland museum, which houses prehistoric fossils, river otters, and the fully restored Drum Point Lighthouse, aims to expand its educational programs. And with more programs comes the need for more space.
The Calvert Marine Museum (CMM) renovation getting underway is the second part of a two-phase plan; the first was completed it in 2014.
There will be two large, new classrooms, and more workspace for educational program leaders. Each classroom will be able to hold 30 students, and a dividing wall can be opened to make one large teaching space. The rooms will also have state-of-the-art smartboards.
The construction project also includes a new unisex bathroom and better handicap access to the exhibit area. Work is expected to last through the winter, with doors reopening in March and the project fully finished in May.
Museum leaders say the education improvements have been a long time coming:
“I am very excited about finally getting proper spaces for our Education Department. This is the largest department at the museum, and the one that produces most of the programming. With this renovation, they will have space specially designed for programming,” says CMM Director, Sherrod Sturrock.
CMM notes that its education program attendance has jumped 382% since 2005, including school field trips, as well as special programs for preschoolers, homeschoolers, students with special needs, and experiences at its Chesapeake Field Lab.
Most programming will “pause” during the renovation, but Calvert County Public Schools’ CHESPAX field trips will continue to take place offsite, and the Patuxent Small Craft Guild will still operate, according to CMM. A schedule of the events and activities resuming in March will be released in February. To keep up to date about the museum’s spring plans, click here.
-Meg Walburn Viviano