Virginia Museum of Natural History share what to expect at Waynesboro branch

VMNH is bringing a branch campus to Waynesboro.
Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 11:43 PM EDT
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WAYNESBORO, Va. (WHSV) - The Virginia Museum of Natural History (VNMH) is bringing a new branch campus to Waynesboro.

VMNH Trustee, Dr. Tom Benzing, said the museum will tell the story of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Shenandoah Valley.

“We’ll talk about what animals lived here, the geology, how it formed and how the rivers are doing,” he said.

Dr. Benzing added the prior interest of the community and the location of the city made Waynesboro the perfect spot for the museum.

“They would have access to the people driving on the interstates, people were at the Shenandoah National Park or the Blue Ridge Parkway and people who are traveling to the Shenandoah Valley for other reasons. We think it will bring a good audience to the campus,” Benzing said.

Right now, teams are working with architects to finalize the design of the 28,000-square-foot structure itself. Meanwhile, designs for the interior of the museum are starting.

The museums will have exhibits that share information about the nature and wildlife in the area. It will also include classrooms and science labs.

Dr. Benzing said once the design package is done, it will be presented to the Virginia General Assembly. He said since VMNH is a state agency, the funding for construction will come from the state government. If the GA approves, VMNH will receive that money in July 2024.

He said the estimated cost for the project was originally $20 million, but they expect that number to rise due to inflation and supply chain issues.

To stay up to date on the project, click here. If you would like to be involved, you can either reach out to the Virginia Museum of Natural History or the Center for Coldwaters Restoration.