The Next Frontier

By: Mike Mueller
By: Mike Mueller

It's a story the Frontier Culture Museum has been trying to tell for 20 years. Finally, the gaps will be filled when its expansion plans are finally mapped out in the next few weeks.

Expansion plans are underway for Staunton's Frontier Culture Museum thanks to its recent accreditation status.

"When you come up to that level there's a whole new philosophy, new impetus to expand and we are now after 20 years beginning to tell the rest of the story," says the museum's executive director John Avoli.

That story begins by re-locating the American farm, adding a West African village in it's place, and creating a new exhibit gallery in between.

"You display the old world which we currently have and transcend the gallery into the new world. 1850 to pre," says Avoli.

Creating a historical loop, transcending these two worlds into more educational experiences.

"Museums as a whole need to move," says Avoli. "They need to move all the time. They need to be active and produce new exhibits. If they don't then the same old, same old just won't cut it any more."

Expected cost is nearly $11.5 million, which the museum hopes to make up through ground leases for development of its land near Frontier Drive into retail space.

"The fuel for all this expansion will be a result of the ground leases that are under negotiations now," says Avoli.

Those negotiations include the demolition of the old DeJarnette building and the addition of a strip mall. Expansion at the museum could begin within the year.

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