Panhandle Plains Historical Museum announces renovations

Krystina Martinez

Cliff Vanderpool, director of the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum, announced April 6 that the museum will be undergoing renovations. Specifically, Pioneer Town will receive a $20,000 upgrade.

“Big changes are coming, and we’re happy to begin these efforts with the renovation of this great attraction at the museum,” said Vanderpool.

First built in 1969, Pioneer Town has been one of the most popular exhibits in the museum, which simulates the living and working conditions of early Panhandle settlers. The renovations will create an entirely new floor plan, complete with extra build•ings, new lighting and flooring.

“It’s really hard to get that pioneer feeling on lino•leum,” said Vanderpool.

Carol Lovelady, president of the museum’s adviso•ry board, says that it has been a goal of Vanderpool’s to upgrade Pioneer Town since he became museum director seven years ago.

“[Once construction is complete], it will be more authentic,” said Lovelady. “We’re going forward and backward at the same time [and] it is a wonderful thing.”

The museum hopes to have the new Pioneer Town complete this year. The project will be time-con•suming, with the removal of the old structures and artifacts, construction of new buildings and remov•ing asbestos in the Resinous Flooring Applications.

These renovations will be the first phase in sev•eral projects the museum has in store. They also plan to upgrade the petroleum and energy exhibits and add a new educational space for school children to use as a classroom.

“The museum is committed to being a relevant and engaging museum that constantly seeks to serve our community through exhibits, programs, and special events,” said Vanderpool.

The project is sponsored by the Canyon Economic Development Corporation, the M.S. Doss Foundation, the Mary E. Bivins Foundation and Amarillo National Bank.

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