New Brunswick

New Brunswick Museum looking at new options for expansion

New Brunswick Museum CEO Jane Fullerton says moving off-site may be a possibility.

CEO says plans to expand into Riverview Memorial Park taking too long

The CEO of the New Brunswick Museum in Saint John said the museum is looking at other options to expand its collections and resource centre, after encountering red tape at Saint John city hall.   

The museum had originally wanted to expand its Douglas Avenue facility into the neighbouring Riverview Memorial Park, a memorial to soldiers who served in the Boer War, but the museum’s board of directors has decided to focus on other options.

“We really are at a standstill and that’s why we need to look at other options," said museum CEO Jane Fullerton.

She said the museum is on a tight timeline and can’t wait for the city to explore legal options before moving ahead with a geotechnical survey of the park. 

“There are issues around the safety of the collections and the safety of the people working there.”

The museum has been planning an expansion and upgrade for the Douglas Avenue facility since 2000, but Fullerton said the issue became an urgent matter in 2012 when engineers determined the roof structure only had another five years of life.

“If we can’t find a solution at that site we would have to look at moving to another location,” Fullerton said.

“That would be a discussion with the province and other stakeholders who are interested in the future of the museum.”

Fullerton said whatever the final plan, it needs to be cost effective. The museum already runs two facilities, an exhibition centre at Market Square in Saint John, and the collections and research centre on Douglas Avenue.

Some of the options Fullerton cited were expanding the building to the north side of the property or moving out of the existing Douglas Avenue building altogether.

Fullerton hopes to have a plan in place within the next month so the museum can apply for federal funding.