Martinsville museum receives $1 million plus

August 9, 2005

The Roanoke Times

The Virginia Museum of Natural History received more than $1 million from the nonprofit Harvest Foundation to help fund new exhibits for the opening of its new building in early 2007.

The award made up the bulk of $1.78 million in grants awarded by the Harvest Foundation to seven different organizations serving Martinsville and Henry County. Tim Gette, executive director of the Virginia Museum of Natural History, said the money puts it halfway toward matching a $2 million challenge made by the state. That money will be used to fund new exhibits created by Reich + Petch Design International, the Toronto firm that also designed the Behring Hall of Mammals at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History.

"They're designing all new permanent exhibits in the new museum," Gette said. "Many will use existing collections. We're not just moving, we're opening an entirely new museum."

The new building is under construction. Gette said the formal opening is scheduled for January 2007.


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