Explore More Discovery Museum begins expansion construction

By Avery Powell  |  Posted: Wed 1:57 PM, Jul 20, 2016  |  Updated: Wed 6:43 PM, Jul 20, 2016

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- The "Explore More Discovery Museum" in downtown Harrisonburg has started construction on their expansion project to add a second and third floor to the museum.

The infrastructure construction cost is just over $1 million, so the museum still needs more than $300,000 for work like HVAC, electricity and adding bathrooms to the third floor.

However, the museum is now contracted with Lantz Construction to do what they can with the resources they currently have.

The museum's executive director says the work is exciting but it's a slow process.

"I always say we're like the little engine that could," said Lisa Shull, the executive director of the museum. "We're trying to get up the other side of the mountain and we're being pushed by the community. It's nice to see us start to really swing the hammer so to speak and just see things start to play out. It's going to take some time, I think we'll get there and it is very rewarding."

The second floor will have more exhibits, including a climbable tree connecting the first and second floors. The third floor will be a community education center.

Because of the construction, the museum is having to store some supplies on the third floor and in a large trailer off site.

The second floor infrastructure construction should be completed by October. Depending on funding, the third floor could be finished at that time as well.

The museum is accepting donations to help them continue the expansion. You can find a link to that donation page here.