Traverse City News and Events

Great Lakes Children's Museum Reopening Delayed Due To Contaminated Soil

By Beth Milligan | July 22, 2020

Concern over contaminated soil vapor is delaying the reopening of the Great Lakes Children’s Museum.

The museum property on South West Bayshore Drive on the Discovery Center campus has a past history of commercial and industrial use. Environmental testing mandated by the state’s Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) this spring revealed contaminant soil gas vapors under the floor of the museum.

“Recent indoor air samples at the museum have been clean,” says Great Lakes Children's Museum Executive Director Mike Long. “However, earlier soil vapor tests under the building detected some contamination.”

The Discovery Center and environmental consultants are working with the state before determining the museum is ready to reopen. “Our local environmental consultants, Otwell Mawby, determined at the time these vapors had the potential to infiltrate indoors,” says Discovery Center CEO Matt McDonough. “The first sampling did not show any risks to public health. However, out of concern for museum staff and its visitors, we’re seeking clarity from EGLE on the need for additional sampling and what is required for the museum to safely reopen.”

McDonough added that regular updates will be made public as further reporting to the state continues.

 

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