Georgetown gems have new museum space

GEORGETOWN, S.C. (WCIV) - For nine long years, the Georgetown County Museum was operating out of the first floor of a historic house on Prince Street in Georgetown.

"I came to that museum from a 30,000-square-foot museum in New Jersey," said Jill Santopietro, the museum's director. "So, I felt like a caged bird. Everything was out. There was no storage."

Santopietro says the artifacts outgrew the space almost simultaneously. So, organizers began looking for a potential new building.

"There was no place to change any thing," said Santopietro. "So, to get local people to come back was almost impossible, an impossible challenge in terms of coming back for an exhibit at least."

Two years ago, Georgetown County gave the museum an old zoning and planning building.

"This building was an office building. Your typical cubicles on a long hallway front to back and that was not going to make a good museum," said Santopietro.

Since then, Santopietro says they've spent the last 24 months raising money and renovating the space.

"We opened up the back of both floors using steel beams," said Santopietro. "It was just a slow moving process, but I think we got a chance to make sure that what we did was right."

Now, museum officials are settling into their new home at 120 Broad Street. Artifacts are already safely put into cases and pictures are being hung.

An official grand opening is set for Friday at 4 p.m. at the museum.{}

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