‘The exhibits will be dynamic’ Plans for MOSH’s new museum ramping up

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The city’s famous Museum of Science and History is ramping up its plans to build and move to a new building at the Jacksonville Shipyards.

The original plan was to renovate and expand the current MOSH building on the Southbank, a project that became known as MOSH 2.0. But now, the plan for an all-new museum is in place.

MOSH is known for expanding curious young minds. With a new facility on the horizon, CEO Bruce Fafard, says the sky is the limit.

“The exhibits will be dynamic. Portions of those exhibits will actually change during the course of the year. So when you come, you’ll experience something completely different.”

Visitors have seen the current exhibits, but Fafard says many of them remain static, and they seldom change. He says the new museum will allow visitors to have a truly hands-on experience. One feature will be an aquifer to represent the St. Johns River.

“To support that, we’ll actually have a water lab,” Fafard said. “Visitors can come in, students will be able to come in and take samples of the water, and go into the water lab and really understands what’s in that water.”

That’s not all. Fafard says another goal is to have multiple maker spaces throughout the new museum, including a cultural side.

“We hope to have a maker space where you’re going to be able to go in and maybe, build your own musical instrument,” Fafard said. “Because music is very important to Jacksonville and its history.”

Fafard says the price tag is about $85,000,000. He says roughly 35% has already been raised or promised, but the fundraising efforts are ongoing.

Fafard says right now, the team is working to hire an architect. He says 10 have responded to the task. That number will be whittled down to around three in the coming weeks.

The goal is to have a contract on the table by June. He also says if the team can work it out with the Downtown Investment Authority to access the land this year, that’s when things will take off.

“If we do, then you will see a ceremony with a shovel in the ground before the end of 2021,” Fafard said.

The opening is slated for late 2024.

While plans for the new building are still in the works, a lot of fun things are still going on at the current one. Fafard says there’s currently a traveling exhibit. Others are planned for both the summer and the fall. In addition to that, summer camps are on the way.

“We have very strict cleaning protocols to keep everyone safe,” Fafard said. “Both our staff and our visitors.”

The museum is open Thursday through Sunday. For more information, click here: https://themosh.org/

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