Lumberton officials are looking into what steps are necessary to reopen the city’s museum on Main Avenue, which suffered termite and water damage that was compounded when Hurricane Isaac made landfall in 2012.
The matter was discussed at a recent meeting of the Lumberton Board of Aldermen, when officials talked about financial matters for rewiring, air conditioning and other measures.
“That’s why it’s been closed, because of the wiring, and we don’t have any heat or air in there,” Mayor Quincy Rogers said. “That’s what’s been relayed to me, in reference to the actual museum, is that they’re basically trying to budgetary-wise see how much money it’s going to take to try to get this thing opened back up.
“We’re finishing up the budget, and we’ve got to allocate money for that, so we are needing to know just what needs to be done before we can allocate money into our budget for that specific building.”
The Lumberton Museum opened in 1995 in a law office as part of Lumberton’s Centennial Celebration.
The museum moved to Old City Hall sometime around 2002, when the law office was sold. Old City Hall offered more room than the previous location, and several additions were made to the museum.
Old City Hall was built in 1904. Throughout the years, the facility has housed an armory, library, Boy Scout meeting spot and even a school lunchroom.
In August 2016, the museum underwent the first step in recovery process when it received a new roof made possible by the efforts of the Lumberton Museum Committee.
The committee was able to raise approximately $2,400 in donations for the roof after originally putting the project out to bid.
The museum – which houses a decades-old jail cell, a World War II gas mask and a 1920s dentist chair, among other items – then received approximately $10,000 for ceiling and floor repair work.
“It is very important to get the museum up and running,” Rogers said. “We have a lot of historical items inside that building in reference to Lumberton, the beginning of Lumberton and the inception of Lumberton.
“With this new budget, we are going to make sure that we allocate money to get that building up and running.”