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County Council still working to restore operating hours for JB Museum


December 22, 2004 - By SCOTT MILLER

Staff Reporter

The Jefferson Barracks Historical Mu-seum will remain open next year, but the County Council still is working to restore its normal operating hours.

Also, the museum no longer will have a full-time curator. Curator Marc Kollbaum will split time at the JB Museum and Faust Park in Chesterfield, said Lindsey Swan-ick, director of the St. Louis County De-partment of Parks and Recreation. Koll-baum will be at the JB Museum for educational programs, however.

Swanick told the county council during budget hearings last week she had enough paid employees and volunteers to operate the museum from noon to 4:30 p.m. Fridays through Sundays beginning Feb. 4.

But Councilman John Campisi, R-south county, said that wasn't enough. To support school field trips, Campisi said he wants to restore the museum's regular op-erating hours, noon to 4:30 p.m. Wednes-days through Sundays, two more days than Swanick proposed.

Along with Campisi, Chairman Skip Mange, R-Town and Country, and Coun-cilman Kurt Odenwald, R-Shrewsbury, said at a budget hearing last week they wanted more salary support for the museum.

After the hearing, Campisi said the three found the money and intended to introduce legislation Tuesday — after the Call went to press — appropriating an additional $280,000 to support Wednesday and Thursday operations.

The money would be shifted from the county's Regional Commerce and Growth Association fund and the county Econom-ic Council, he said, but shouldn't affect their operations.

Swanick was unavailable for comment by press time on Monday, but at last week's hearing, said if more volunteers were willing to work Wednesday or Thursday, the museum could be open. However, she would rather open the museum on Sat-urday morning.

"We chose what we thought were the most popular times," Swanick said. "If anything, we would like to open up a Sat-urday morning rather than a Wednesday or Thursday (afternoon),"

The museum will open in February. It is normally closed during January each year. It also will be open Memorial Day, July 4, Labor Day and Veterans Day.

At this point, 27 people have volunteered to give tours at the museum, Swanick said. The parks department is interviewing the volunteers and expects to train them Jan. 22 and Jan. 27 to give brief tours and artifact information.

"We are getting some volunteers that are just excellent," she said, "just excellent."

Anyone at least 16 years old interested in volunteering can get an application at www.stlouisco.com/parks or by calling (314) 638-2100.

Applications then should be mailed as soon as possible to St. Louis County Parks and Recreation Department, 9801 Mac-kenzie Road, St. Louis 63123.

If normal operating hours can't be maintained, Swanick said educational programs would not be cut, but would be offered based on demand. Schools would need to schedule events ahead of time.

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