Ellis County Museum board members continue moving forward with their decision to restore and rehabilitate the interior of the museum’s 1889 building from top to bottom.
“As the county and city continue to grow, preserving Ellis County’s history is even more important for our new residents and future generations,” a spokesman said.
The restoration architect firm Architexas was hired to create an extensive study to determine which building elements to preserve, restore or rehabilitate. Using Architexas’ plans and working with the museum board, Chris Acker Construction will rehabilitate the historic structure.
It was in 1968 that 50 historically minded citizens made a local county history museum a reality by laying the foundation for the Ellis County Museum. The current museum structure was purchased in 1975 with plans to continue the preservation of artifacts and documents for many years to come.
New electrical and plumbing will be added to all floors as well as sprinkler systems and sheetrock, greatly aiding in fire protection. For fire egress, new stairs are required on all three floors with openings on the third floor as well as new stairways on the second and first floors, leading to fire exits on opposite ends of the building. The original door and window openings between the museum and the adjoining building have been sealed for smoke and fire protection. Original doors, windows and architectural elements and details will be restored and used throughout the building.
Work will begin with infrastructure changes. New water and electrical lines and the preparation of the elevator shaft will soon be evident.
When this work is complete, the museum will have transformed 10,000 square feet of decades old dormant space into 10,000 square feet of usable museum space. New areas for exhibits, storage, research and entertainment will be created and valuable space on Waxahachie’s vibrant downtown square utilized.