Flood-ravaged Exploreum in Port set to reopen at last

Museum is dried out but hurricane leaves it waiting for parts from the Carolinas
Ozaukee Press staff

The Port Exploreum will likely reopen by the end of this week, officials said Tuesday.

The facility can’t reopen until its elevator is repaired, and the necessary parts weren’t expected to arrive until Wednesday, Sept. 19, said Wayne Chruscial, executive director of the Port Washington Historical Society, which operates the museum.

“They’ve been ordered. They just have to get here,” he said.

Unfortunately, Chruscial added, the parts are coming from the Carolinas, which were hit by Hurricane Florence.

“When it rains, it storms,” he said. “I think I’m the poster child for that.”

The Exploreum had been expected to reopen last week, but the elevator issues kept it shuttered, Chruscial said.

At least $100,000 in damage was done to the Exploreum by the Aug. 27 flood, Chruscial said.

“It could be a lot more,” he added, noting that not all the cost estimates for repairs are in.

More than 1-1/2 feet of murky water flooded the lower maritime level of the Exploreum, destroying the furnace and the computer that operated the popular Fish Daze game. Two feet of drywall at the base of all the walls had to be removed, and the lower level isn’t expected to open again for several months.

In the meantime, several pieces of technology housed on the lower level have been moved to the first and second floors, including the Fish Daze game, lake ecology quiz and sailing kiosk.

“That way, visitors will still get to experience some of the technology we have when we reopen,” Chruscial said.

That will occur as soon as the elevator is fixed, he said.


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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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