The Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History is breaking attendance records, despite suffering significant damage during Hurricane Harvey.
Since new management took over in October, Friends of the Museum officials say business is surpassing expectations.
“We are doing things that say to the community, we’re here, come engage, have fun,” said Dr. Mary Jane Garza, the vice president and deputy director of the museum.
But the past year hasn’t been easy. The museum, which is one of the city’s top tourist attractions, was closed for nine months after its roof and floor were severely damaged during the storm.
Mold was also found, along with damage to the playground and fence area.
The museum suffered $1.2 million in damages. The city had given the museum $1.3 million in annual funding in previous years. Last year, that total was reduced to $500,000.
“My first thoughts were … it’s so unfortunate,” Garza said.
But the museum has been fortunate after re-opening in May 2018. New management has been able to turn business around.
In February alone, a record 6,000 people visited the museum. More revenue is also coming in, and museum membership is at a peak.
It’s a good sign the museum is back in business, despite the many challenges it has faced.
“When we heard about the devastation, it kind of rocked us to the core,” said Jeff Gorres, a museum visitor who made the trip from four hours away. “What they’ve done in the year and a half to bring it to its full capability, it’s absolutely beautiful.”
Now, the museum is also getting a large grant for more than $300,000 from the Rebuild Texas Fund.
That money will go toward improving the playground area, expanding the outreach program, and installing projectors and security cameras.