BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — McWane Science Center will reopen today after closing for four months due to the coronavirus pandemic.
During their time closed to the public, the museum’s staff developed new safety procedures. Amy Templeton, McWane’s president and CEO, said the museum will now have new hours of operation, welcoming guests Wednesday through Sunday instead of seven days per week as it used to. Staff will work on planning and cleaning on Mondays and Tuesdays.
When visitors arrive, they’ll notice marks on the floor for social distancing. All guests over the age of 8 will be required to wear masks. They’ll also be asked to stay with their own family or group.
“My goal is when you come, if you just follow our directions, you don’t have to think about your safety,” Templeton said. “We have thought about your safety. You just think about having a great time with the people that you came with.”
Staff members also thought about the museum’s hands-on exhibits. Templeton said the staff will use special chemicals to keep them clean, and they’ll wipe and clean them regularly, at least once every hour. They’ve moved or barricaded any exhibits they won’t be able to keep clean. Hand sanitizer stations can be found throughout the museum.
“Our exhibits team went through every single exhibit that’s on the floor, marked it, color-coded it for us,” she said. “These are the ones that are going to be constantly needing to be cleaned. These (others) are the ones that we still need to clean them through the day, but not quite as constant. And so we have a plan for each and every exhibit that’s on the floor.”
Reopening to the public is the second phase of a three-phase process that began in mid-June when the center welcomed back campers. The third phase will happen Aug. 5 when Itty Bitty Magic City reopens.
McWane is open Wednesday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The museum’s Saturday hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can visit the museum on Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.
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