CORNER BROOK The Corner Brook Museum and Archives officially re-opened Friday evening after being closed for over two and a half years.
Corner Brook resident Eileen Murphy likes what the revamped building has to offer citizens and city guests.
"You can sense the preciousness (of the artifacts)," said Murphy.
Before the museum was nice, she said, but now it is brighter, more professional and accessible.
Comments like these are exactly what Sandra Wheeler and the board of directors have been working towards.
"It really came together," said Wheeler, board co-chair (along with Dan Murphy). "Everyone (involved) is sharing the same vision."
She said the combination of board members, who are all diverse in profession and personality, have made the museum what it is.
"Just by looking at the physical building and seeing how much work has gone into it," she said. "It took more than just a paycheque, it took real passion."
The official opening was scheduled to happen in conjunction with the East Meets West Summer Expo, this weekend.
A soft opening of the facility began July 3, given the start of tourism season in the city.
Mayor Neville Greeley said he is happy to see the building re-open to share parts of our culture and heritage with city visitors.
One of the first things tourists look for, he said, is the museums if there are any?
He said the museum adds to what the city can offer tourist who visit.
The opening, however, is not without its hiccups, Wheeler acknowledged.
The building closed in October 2009 because of the construction for the new city hall building which is attached.
The first scheduled opening was estimated to be in May, but ongoing maintenance and preparations pushed back the date.
The facility was not ready to open in June, as estimated, either.
Since the building has been closed, a new water sprinkler system was installed and the building was painted, outside and in. Final work on the exterior is set to finish next week.
For two years, the archives were moved out of the building for safe keeping, while the artifacts were packed away.
Over the past two months, David Meade has been helping put the exhibits back in place in preparation for the opening.
"As of eight weeks ago, this place was torn to pieces," he said. "The bottom floor was on the top floor, pretty much."
With an environmental biology degree, the wildlife exhibit first appealed to him.
Since working more closely with all the exhibits, he can not get enough knowledge and has become a tour guide for the summer.
"It's fascinating in here," he said. "There's things I've never really seen around because it's what my grandfather grew up with, not me."