The American Museum of Science and Energy could move into its new location at Main Street Oak Ridge in June, officials said Tuesday.
Crews began work on Friday and “increased activity can be expected in the area over the coming weeks as construction progresses,” a press release said.
RealtyLink, the South Carolina company developing Main Street Oak Ridge, selected Oak Ridge-based Summit Construction as the contractor for the project, the press release said.
The start of construction was announced Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Office and the City of Oak Ridge.
The new space for AMSE is located between the current JCPenney store and a future Marriott hotel, which is also under construction. The museum entrance will be on Main Street East. AMSE will be all on one floor, occupying approximately 18,000 square feet.
“With the basic interior building plans and designs completed, the city will continue to work with RealtyLink on enhancements to the exterior circulation and supporting amenities for the visitors,” Oak Ridge City Manager Mark Watson said. “This is a much-awaited project, since authorization by the secretary of energy last year, and we are pleased to be moving forward.”
Design plans include a large theater as well as classroom space that can be divided into two regular-sized rooms or one large classroom, supporting a variety of uses for visitors and staff, the press release said. DOE is developing new exhibits, interactive technology, and updates to the museum’s most popular existing displays in cooperation with a professional museum design consultant.
“We are very excited about the start of construction at the new location of the AMSE,” said Ken Tarcza, manager of the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Office. “This milestone represents the tremendous progress that has been made in a short amount of time, which has been possible because of the outstanding relationships between DOE, the City of Oak Ridge, and the developer.”
DOE is also working in close partnership with the National Park Service on the Manhattan Project National Historical Park and the new AMSE facility. The NPS plans to maintain a presence and programming at multiple locations in the city, including the new AMSE location and the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge.
AMSE was originally slated to be in its new home by the end of 2017, but the city, RealtyLink, and DOE agreed to an extension to allow for more time to develop plans for new exhibits and upgrades to the building that will house the museum, the press release said. The target move-in date is now June 2018. AMSE will remain open in its current location, 300 South Tulane Avenue, until the new space is completed.
For information on planning a trip to the American Museum of Science and Energy, visit the museum’s website at amse.org or call (865) 576-3200.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
See our Monday story on the start of construction, with more background information, here.
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