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Grover Museum hoping to grow volunteer base

The Grover Museum will be closed to the public on Wednesdays throughout the summer months so staff and volunteers canupgrade the storage area in the building.

By JEFF BROWN - jbrown@shelbynews.com

Alex Krach is viewing the summer of 2018 as the time to build the future of the Grover Museum.

With renovation work to be done on the 37-year-old Shelbyville museum, Krach, the Grover Museum director, has announced Wednesdays as work days. And he wants to build up the museum’s volunteer staff in the process.

“We are closing on Wednesdays to the public which allows 7-8 hours to focus in on the collection and make sure we’re cleaning it all up,” said Krach. “For us, it’s also time to build our volunteer base back up. In the early years, the reason there was such a big volunteer base is people had ownership in the building of the museum itself. After (the Grover Museum) got established and people moved on, there is a disconnect now. We want to open that back up to the public. If you have an interest in history and an interest in what is in the back of the museum and what it takes to do the museum work, this is a perfect opportunity to get plugged in and have that sense of ownership.”

One of the primary focuses of the down time is adapting the museum’s storage area to better serve its purpose.

“I don’t know if anybody could have ever anticipated the response we had from the Shelby County community with donations ... how giving they were,” explained Krach. “When the original storage areas were built, there were three sectioned-off areas for small items, medium items and large items. There is no way to have predicted how much of each items (the museum received). 

“When the shelving was built, it was done with the idea of putting the items in there when they came in. Unfortunately, the shelving is not really conducive to what we’ve got.”

The Grover Museum, 52 W. Broadway St., was recently awarded a grant to help with storage issues, according to Krach. A large quantity of storage bins are due to arrive in the coming weeks to help properly preserve historical items.

The other problem Krach intends to rectify is rearranging the storage area to make the large items in the museum’s collection easier to move around.

“When transporting items from the back of the museum to display ... the large items are in the very back, down a flight of steps and through a skinny hallway,” he said. “So maneuvering them has become quite a spectacle. What we’re trying to do is bring those (items) to the front and switch around some of the storage and make it so it is more user-friendly for the staff.”

Krach anticipates the museum staying closed on Wednesdays through the end of August, possibly longer if needed. 

“We’re going to take the summer months to catch our breath and really lay the foundation for what comes next,” said Krach. 

If you are interested in becoming a Grover Museum volunteer, Krach encourages you to call him at the museum at 317-392-4634. Or, show up between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Wednesdays through the side entrance of the museum. 

The Grover Museum is officially open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.

Root beer float days continue on the third Saturday of each month. 

The comic book display featuring the work of Morristown graduate Roger Slifer, who served as a writer and editor for Marvel Comics in the 1970s and 1980s, remains up through July.

The May Fest display is currently coming down with a new display of quilts entitled “Quilts That Tell A Story” going up. Krach anticipated 20-plus quilts will eventually be on display.

“This is a big renovation time in the museum,” said Krach. “Some of these things need to happen. It’s a really exciting time and a perfect time to get plugged in. We have a board that is very supportive of new ideas and new visions. To the volunteer end of things, every suggestion is heard. We value any input from our community because it is the community’s museum.”