CONSULTING with interested community groups on exhibition themes will be the next step forward for the Orange Regional Museum, with construction of the building set to begin in mid-October.
Talks with groups like the Orange and District Historical Society will kick off at the next museum working group meeting on June 11, and will be the first time Orange City Council has formally consulted with the public on the museum.
At a progress meeting held at Orange Regional Gallery on Saturday, council’s community and cultural director Scott Maunder updated interested Orange residents on the design of the building, fielding questions about its functionality, and said the next step was to decide on exhibit content.
“At the next working party meeting there will be a discussion of content,” he said. “We will be developing a few themes for the exhibitions in the museum.
“We want to look at some ideas of what the program will look like over the next five years.”
The museum is still awaiting approval for its development application by the Western Joint Regional Planning Panel, and expressions of interest for construction of the building will close on June 18.
The Orange Visitor Information Centre in Byng Street will be replaced by the $8.1 million project, combining the information service with exhibition space and a cafe, and Mr Maunder said it would reflect the city’s vibrant and ever-changing story.
“Around 70,000 people come through the visitor centre each year, and this traffic will be directed to the entrance of the museum,” Mr Maunder said. “It gives us the opportunity to sell the story of Orange.”
He also said there would be minimal extra costs for the council to run the museum, with heating and cooling costs to be almost the same as the visitor centre, and be staffed by those already employed at the service.