The Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Memorial Museum celebrates thirty-five years of existence this year. By that age, pretty much everything starts showing signs of time’s degradation and the museum building is no exception.
The major concern of the Morrison County Historical Society’s board members this past year has been the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system in conjunction with other energy-related projects, such as lighting and insulation. In order to examine these issues with an eye toward collections preservation, increasing energy efficiency, and lowering costs associated with the museum’s physical plant, the board formed an Energy Committee over a year ago. The Energy Committee consists of Camille Warzecha, Duane Welle, and Jan Warner, with assistance from Mary Warner.
Major fluctuations in the temperature and humidity within the museum, along with frequent calls for mainentance on the HVAC system, made examining the system a high priority. The collections held in public trust at the Weyerhaeuser Museum depend upon a stable environment for their long-term preservation.
Determining the best method for improving the HVAC system has been no easy task. The Energy Committee engaged the services of Minnesota Power, CenterPoint Energy, and the Center for Energy & Environment in conducting audits of the museum’s energy usage, each of which made recommendations for improving the HVAC system, along with suggestions for overall energy use reduction, which included reinsulating the attic, switching light bulbs to energy-efficient versions and installing motion-detection light switches.
To date, the lighting improvements have been made. MCHS has received a rebate from Minnesota Power for this portion of the energy work. The Center for Energy & Environment has also provided a gift to MCHS for lighting improvements and toward the planned reinsulation project.
The next step involves seeking funding for the balance of the reinsulation costs and toward the needed HVAC improvements. The estimated cost on these upgrades is $46,000, for which MCHS will gratefully accept donations.