GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences officially opened Saturday for people to enjoy and learn.
A ribbon cutting was held for the establishment. It followed with people who attended getting a hands-on experience. After four-and-a-half years in the making, children who lined up got to go indoors, see fossils, turtles and even a pirate ship.
Museum director Emily Jarvis said the project was delayed because of COVID-19. Now, they are very happy to finally be open to the public.
“And we got the official designation … about six months prior to COVID, so we were full steam ahead, and then like everybody else in the world, we had a slight pause,” Jarvis said. “But we’ve been able to pull it all together and open today, and I could not be more happy about how it turned out.”
Jarvis said Greenville has been needing a science center that was accessible to people who live and work there.
“Particularly when thinking about our youth, it’s really important to inspire them and get them excited about science,” Jarvis said. “It really opens up the world for them and lets them know that they can be anything, and they can do everything.”
The museum’s exhibits focus on topics relevant to Eastern North Carolina.
“Hence the Pirate ship,” Jarvis said. “We live here in North Carolina, where off of our coast it’s considered the Graveyard of the Atlantic, and the exhibit helps show people why … a lot of people don’t realize that right here in Greenville you can find amazing fossils in the creek down the street.
“I think when they walk in and see that huge pirate ship, I hope that’s a good queue for them, to get excited to learn.”
Jarvis stresses community involvement is still crucial to keep the museum and its programs running.
Admission is free to all. The museum is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.