The Orange County Historical Museum has been closed indefinitely due water damage from a recent storm, it was announced December 18 by the Museum’s Board of Directors.
Repairs conducted on the roof in mid-November led to serious water damage inside the Museum. The Town of Hillsborough, which owns the building housing the Museum, is currently assessing the damage and determining next steps. The Museum’s Board of Directors, after consultation with Town officials, decided to close the museum due to unsafe conditions.
No damage was done to the exhibits, but extensive repairs will be needed on both the main and second floors. Both the permanent and temporary exhibits must be moved during the work. It is the Board’s priority to ensure that both the collection and personnel are safe from harm.
During the closure, the Board will assess the operations of the Museum with a view to expanding its programs and accessibility - particularly outreach and involvement with the local community and schools.
The Board, in consultation with the Town, will also explore the possibility of moving the museum to a new location at some time in the future. Activities that were already on the Museum’s schedule, such as an upcoming lecture in February, will now take place at alternate locations. The updated information will be available at the Museum’s website: www.orangenchistory.org and on its Facebook page.
The Board also announced that as of the end of the year, the Museum’s three staff members will be laid off. The Board regrets losing these valuable employees, but it determined that the nature of an indefinite closing period coupled with a change in organizational direction warranted this action.