LUBBOCK, Texas — After being closed for four months, Lubbock’s Science Spectrum re-opened on Thursday.
“We’ve been monitoring the situation locally and we figured that this would be the first time that we have seen the local case numbers flattening recently, ” said the museum’s Administrative Manager James Nesmith. “We decided that this was the best time to reopen for the last month of the summer.”
Management said they had planned to open up two previous times this summer, but due to rising COVID-19 cases, they did not feel it would be safe for staff or visitors to open until now.
To keep the museum as clean as possible throughout the day, museum management said they will close for one hour everyday to clean the high-touch areas. They also said they will offer gloves to all guests. Everyone above the age of ten is also required to wear a mask.
Museum guests said they agree with these precautions.
“They offer gloves which is really nice so that the kids can still be interactive and safe,” said museum visitor Jennifer Calvillo.
During the time they were closed, Nesmith said that the staff did a lot of cleaning and also prepared new exhibits, updated some signs and graphics and even got some new animals for their aquariums and displays.
“We’ve been able to update those, get in some new species,” said Nesmith. “Things like seahorses that we’ve never had before, some new fish that we’ve never had before, some new other reptiles turtle and frogs and things. We have some poison dart frogs that we haven’t had in a long time.”
In addition, the museum will also be extending some of their exhibits like the Megalodon exhibit and the Dinosaurs in Antarctica film in their movie theater. They said these two exhibits had only been in the museum for two weeks before they had to close in March.
“Normally those – the exhibition and the film – would have been over by now,” said Nesmith. “But we were able to work with those both to keep them going longer. So the exhibition is now going on through September the 6th. If you want to come and see cool sharks and the Megalodon shark and the giant teeth and jaws you can come and see that and the dinosaur film will be here through the fall.”
This has been good news for a lot of museum guests, as these were some of the most widely enjoyed exhibits.
“Me and my brother, we really like the ‘Meg,'” said Davis Calvillo. “We even saw the ‘Meg’ movie.”
The museum has been offering online programs and activities throughout the pandemic. They said they will continue to offer these programs, while adding a few new ones like virtual field trips and virtual experiments for different classes and organizations.
“We’ll have our museum educators actually go around and talk about museum exhibits like what we have right behind us today, our live animal collection,” said Nesmith. “And with that being live they will actually be able to interact with live the animals and the students that they’re speaking with virtually and take questions.”
For more information about the Science Spectrum you can visit their website here.