Some of the exterior glass at the GulfQuest maritime museum might have to be replaced, although the work is not expected to further delay its opening.
Mayor Sandy Stimpson’s Chief of Staff Colby Cooper confirmed Monday afternoon that “hundreds of scratches” to exterior glass he believes was installed during initial construction of the building will have to be “addressed.” Cooper said the scratches were discovered during a city walkthrough to examine items on a punch list related to building’s construction, a part of the city’s contract with GulfQuest.
Cooper said at least some of the scratches must be fixed, in order for the building to be in line with construction standards, but the scratches do not affect the integrity of the glass, or the structure. He added that the city has not been able to identify who scratched the glass in the first place, or how it was scratched.
Cooper said the city’s architectural engineering department is working to find out what needs to be done and doesn’t know how much, if any, of the glass would need to be replaced. He said he didn’t immediately know how many panels of glass were affected.
The city is unsure right now who will be on hook for fixing the glass.
“We’re still evaluating the situation,” Cooper said.
Ground was broken on the site more than five years ago and an official opening date has still not been set by GulfQuest officials. While the most recent situation is not expected to further delay its opening, the museum has been plagued by construction and other issues that have pushed back the date.
Executive Director Tony Zodrow declined to give Lagniappe a firm opening date for a February cover story on the museum, but it has been widely speculated that the attraction will open sometime this summer.
The city spent $28 million on the building through two separate bond issues, according to information provided by Zodrow for the February story. Cooper said the city is also on the hook for the museum’s utility bills, until it officially opens.
Last year, Zodrow estimated the installation of exhibits would occur within six to eight months of occupancy. With a certificate of occupancy issued last July, that estimate would’ve put the finishing date for installation in February or March, but that’s not the case.
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