Visitors who want a last look at the Johnson County Museum in Shawnee had better be quick about it. The museum’s last day there will be Saturday, Sept. 3.
After that the museum will close its doors at 6305 Lackman Road — a stone building whose oldest section dates to 1927 —to prepare to reopen with new exhibits and an expanded KidScape at the Johnson County Arts and Heritage Center next May.
In the interim, the museum will offer some special music and storytelling programs for kids at the Mill Creek Activity Center, 6518 Vista Ave, in Shawnee.
It’s the end of an era and the beginning of a new one for the museum.
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The county museum got its start as a volunteer group in 1967, and has always been housed at the current location, which was the former Greenwood School. But the building, a combination of the old stone structure and hallways linking it to additions built in the 1960s, has been plagued with water-related problems the past few years. The basement flooded in 2009, and mold was discovered in the walls about two years ago. Air has been monitored in the building ever since.
The museum’s new home will be in the former King Louie bowling lanes and ice rink at 8788 Metcalf Ave. That facility also will house the museum’s 1950s All Electric House, the Overland Park Historical Society plus community theater and art workshops.
There won’t be a closing ceremony at the old building, said Audrea Griggs, of the museum staff , but there will be a grand opening at the Metcalf location. No specific date has been set.
In the meantime, the Lanesfield Historic Site in Edgerton will remain open Fridays and Saturdays 1-5 p.m. and by appointment. A new marker system allows visitors to go on self-guided tours of the grounds even when the site is not open, she said.
The Mill Creek Center activities include:
Dino O’Dell, Sept. 28; The Rockin’ Rob Show, Oct. 26; Janie Next Door, Nov. 30, and Doo Dad Mike, Dec. 28. All are at 10 a.m., with a $3 fee for non-museum members.
Storytelling is Sept. 14, Oct. 19, Nov. 16 and Dec. 21. All are at 10 a.m., with a $2 fee for non-museum members.