The construction is part of the $2.85 million Porthole Alley project, for which a pedestrian walkway and a new two-lane road will be created off South Columbia Street. On Tuesday, the Ackland announced that due to the construction project, the museum will close its galleries to the public from March 6 through March 19.
According to a press release, some art in the museum will have to be temporarily taken down.
“Much of the art on view will be deinstalled in order to be protected from vibrations. We regret any inconvenience our short-term closure may cause,” said the Ackland Art Museum Director Katie Ziglar in the statement.
Emily Bowles, the museum’s spokesperson, said the construction company informed the Ackland that heavy machinery will be used during construction, which will cause vibrations equivalent to 3.0 on the Richter scale.
“Though they’re stable on a normal day, this situation is kind of uncharted territory for us,” Bowles said. “You might know what a 3.0 earthquake feels like, but we don’t know what a 3.0 equivalent is going to feel like over and over again for the duration of eight days. So we have to take every precaution possible.”
Bowles said all art will remain on site, but the deinstallation process will be a delicate one.
“It’s not like rehanging pictures in your apartment,” Bowles said. “Each one of them has to be handled really carefully, sometimes by a couple of people with gloves. You have to have archival materials and good padding for them. And there are so many pieces that we have to devote a couple of days to deinstalling, and we have to use the entire museum for that purpose, so we have to close the museum — not only for the safety of the art but also for the safety of our visitors.”
Junior studio art major Delaney O’Connell said her studio art classes, which are held in Hanes Art Center, will not be affected.
“I don’t go to the Ackland for any of my classes, so it won’t really affect my classes at all,” O’Connell said.
Sophomore art history and studio art major Liza Ferguson said the construction didn’t affect her in any way either.
“I don’t have classes in there, and I don’t think it will affect my classes in any way because they’re on medieval art and in Caldwell,” Ferguson said.
Bowles said the construction has forced a lot of rescheduling, but nothing that couldn’t be managed.
“We did have public programs scheduled for those days that had been scheduled for quite a while,” Bowles said.
“So when we got the news that this was going to have to happen, we reached out to the people who registered for the programs or people who were hosting the programs, so we have them all on different dates now.”