St. Joseph – A museum in southwest Michigan is looking for community support after a failed heating and ventilation system caused major flooding damage.
Flooding was discovered at the Heritage Museum and Cultural Center in St. Joseph on Dec. 11, The Herald-Palladium reported .
Interior walls, floors and offices on three levels were damaged, according to Elizabeth Andrews, the center’s executive director. A few artifacts on display were also damaged and can be repaired for about $200,000., she said.
“There has been significant damage to the building,” Andrews said. “It’s pretty catastrophic.”
An insurance adjuster must complete an inspection before she has a total estimate for the cost of repairs, Andrews said. The museum plans to start an online crowdfunding campaign Wednesday to raise money for the repairs, she said.
The museum was in the process of replacing the HVAC system when the flooding occurred, Andrews said.
“Before this incident, our organization already knew that it was time for the replacement of major equipment in our facility,” Andrews said. “We were just awarded a $50,000 grant toward capital improvements, which we must match one-to-one, with additional funding. With this disaster, the best support we could ask for is donations to help us raise the match as quickly as possible.”
All events and programming have been cancelled or relocated. The building will likely be closed into January, Andrews said.
The museum holds between 20,000 and 25,000 artifacts, including two Fresnel lenses from St. Joseph’s inner and outer lighthouses.