Multi-million dollar makeover for Castle Hill museum

The Powerhouse Discovery Centre in Castle Hill has closed this week for a $33.6 million upgrade funded by the NSW Government during the next four years.

The centre, part of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS), will remain closed until July 2015.

Minister for the Arts Troy Grant said the upgrade will include improved public facilities and a new $9000 shared storage facility for MAAS, the Australian Museum and Sydney Living Museums.

“The capital works will deliver a state-of-the-art storage facility for the collections of three of the state’s most significant cultural institutions,’’ he said.

‘‘It will also provide Sydney’s West with a one-of-a-kind museum experience.”

The upgrade to the site will include the refurbishment of the existing building, upgrade to the open access display store, improved public access facilities and two new conservation workrooms — one for the Australian Museum and one shared between Sydney Living Museums and MAAS.

Site preparation work is underway and construction is due to commence in October.

The extended closure of the site is to ensure staff and public safety during the construction period and to allow for display items to be removed.

Director of MAAS Rose Hiscock said more than 132,000 people visited the Powerhouse Discovery Centre since its opening in 2007.

“The new facilities will enhance the visitor experience in the future and include public programs that will showcase the collections of the three partner institutions,” she said.

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