Heritage Museum Abandons Road Plans

FILE PHOTO  Ellen Spears, CEO of Heritage Museums and Gardens, explains the museum's educational mission to the Sandwich Zoning Board of Appeals earlier this fall.

FILE PHOTO
Ellen Spears, CEO of Heritage Museums and Gardens, explains the museum’s educational mission to the Sandwich Zoning Board of Appeals earlier this fall.

SANDWICH – Heritage Museums & Gardens has announced that it will formally withdraw its controversial proposal to realign roads leading near the entrance of the museum.

Instead, according to Heritage officials, the museum will now shift its focus towards “safety and infrastructure improvements” on the museums’s property.

“These improvements represent planning and initial work on Phase I of Heritage’s multi-year Master Plan to update existing infrastructure, according to a prepared statement from the museum.

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The improvements, according to the statement, includes creation of “a welcoming and less cluttered arrival sequence – including a new welcome center and entry garden; an ADA accessible pedestrian roadway; reorganized and increased parking; and creation of a fully interactive, one-of-a-kind Aerial Adventure exhibit.”

“This is an important first step toward achieving a new and better Heritage Museums & Gardens,” said Heritage Museums & Gardens President & CEO Ellen Spear. “Our main priority with this Master Plan is to provide Heritage visitors with memorable and meaningful educational and cultural experiences.”

As a result of the neighborhood meetings and consultations with town officials, Heritage has determined that there is insufficient time to refine the road realignment proposal so as to meet the technical road requirements and to encompass the input we received. Heritage’s Board of Directors voted unanimously during a recent board meeting to withdraw the proposal.

“By withdrawing the road proposal, we now turn our attention and focus to our own property, as well as other important aspects of the first phase of our Master Plan,” said Heritage Board Chair Chuck Robinson. “Heritage has completed a Master Plan that ensures we fulfill our founder’s mandate to be an ‘outreaching force in education’ both now and into the future. This plan also demonstrates that we are fully engaging the next generation of learners, while at the same time providing visitors with essential educational amenities, to continue Heritage’s legacy as a key investor in the Cape’s creative economy and standout cultural attraction both locally and abroad.”

A $1 million appropriation from the Commonwealth received by Heritage earlier this year will fund initial planning and infrastructure to support Phase I, specifically both the design and construction of reorganized parking and entry to the Museum; the design and construction of an ADA accessible pedestrian roadway within Heritage; the design of a new welcome center and garden room and visitor.

The work at Heritage is expected to be complete by June 2015.