Burpee Museum re-opens after pipe burst causes major flooding

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — A Stateline museum has been through ‘the ringer’ this year. From COVID shutdowns to battles with mother nature, Burpee Museum has reached the other side.

As more people in the Stateline area continue to get vaccinated, parents are looking for fun activities to do with their kids.

“Friday, Saturday, and Sunday we’re going to be open thank goodness. We were closed for a long time, tried to open in February, wasn’t able to because of a flood but now we’re able to open our doors to the public again,” said Alex Merry, a visitor service manager for Burpee Museum.

After being initially closed because of the pandemic, Burpee Museum was set to open in February, but experienced flooding from a broken pipe. Manager Alex Merry is proud to have survived the damage, saying it was no easy task.

“We had to get new flooring in, we had to paint walls and then our second floor was all completely new. There has just been a lot of planning and now it’s, you know, we got to one finish line for one point, now let’s get to the finish line for the next point and make everyone’s experience here worthwhile,” explained Merry.

By adding two new larger exhibits and one smaller exhibit on their brand-new second floor, they managed to do just that.

“We have a Pleistocene exhibit on one side and a geology exhibit on the other. We also have a new smaller exhibit that we’re calling the Jurassic corner which is right in front of Jane which has some really cool intricate design work and some bones you can take a look at,” Merry added.

Merry says it was tough for her to visit the museum when the building was closed and the halls were quiet. She’s happy to finally have kids exploring the exhibits once again.

“Now that I can turn on all of the exhibit lights and make sure that all of our TVs are working and now I’m hearing little pitter-patters running around and kids laughing and wanting to go in the gift shop and, ‘oh my gosh look at Jane.’ It’s heartwarming and makes me feel so much better.”

The museum is increasing efforts to keep people safe amid the pandemic by asked everyone to pre-register online first.

The museum will only be open on the weekends for now.

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