The Ohio Valley Museum of Discovery (OVMoD) will be taking permanent residence on Columbus Road.

OVMoD is a hands-on facility that focuses on education through science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. Athens City Council met virtually on Feb. 15 to discuss agenda items and hear and update from OVMoD Board co-President Sara Hartman and Director Jennifer Parsons.

For the past several months, OVMoD has shifted efforts to remote education and outreach, but now it has the opportunity to look ahead to preparation for in-person exhibits and events.

“All of us at the museum are looking forward to the time where we can have these meaningful experiences again,” Hartman said during the Feb. 15 City Council meeting.

Hartman also told City Council that OVMoD secured $200,000 of capital funding in the state’s fiscal year 2021 budget to support the renovations of a new museum at 67 Columbus Road in Athens. Hartman noted this location is ideal for the building, as space is flexible and allows room for transporting students to the site, and the facility would add an indoor recreation outlet to an area known for outdoor activities. Parsons told City Council that the space may draw visitors to Athens’ West Side in the future, particularly families with children looking for engaging activities.

The facility will have the theme of “discovery”: of world, community and self.

Hartman noted redevelopment of the building will soon begin.

“Once the renovations are complete, it will allow us to actually start delivering programming in person, even while the space is being further developed,” she said.

Previously, OVMoD took up donated space in Athens’ mall, which it moved into in 2011.

Councilmember Arian Smedley, who previously volunteered with OVMoD, commended the news of OVMoD’s securing of funding for building renovations.

“It’s been so fun to watch your evolution,” she said.

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