6330 Newtown Rd. Ste 400 Norfolk, VA 23502 phone: 757-461-6757 fax: 757-461-8516
Portsmouth Childrens Museum

Description and Features

Renovations for the Children's Museum of Virginia, Phases 1 and 2 - Beginning in 1992, Phase 1 and again in 1997, Phase 2, Vansant and Gusler provided the mechanical and electrical design for the development of the Children's Museum which renovated the existing Leggett's Department Store on High Street in Portsmouth, Virginia. New features included a 65 seat Planetarium, gift shop, offices, extensive exhibit areas, work areas for staff and expanded bathrooms. The existing escalator and stairway to the second floor were closed off during Phase 1 and removed in Phase 2 when the second floor was renovated and the exhibit areas were expanded. Approximately 59,100 gross square feet of floor space were involved in the two phases of the project.

The first phase provided the renovation of the first floor while reusing most of the existing major HVAC equipment. This use of available equipment contributed to low construction costs, but it left the Museum with an all electric heating system and pneumatic controls for the HVAC system. Phase 2 offered the opportunity to change out the major air handling units and add a boiler and hot water heating system. Seven air handling units were replaced or refitted with hot water heating coils in Phase 2. Two roof top heat pumps were also added during Phase 2 to serve the planetarium and atrium areas. A new HVAC Direct Digital Control (DDC) system was provided and interconnected with the municipal central building control system.

Electrical system improvements involved removing all existing lighting, devices and panelboards. New specialty lighting included track lights, electrified ceiling grid system and decorative fixtures to support the theme of the museum and to light the exhibits. Controls were centrally located to make changing from daytime lighting to night security lighting simple for museum staff. New fire alarm, security and telephone systems were provided to meet new codes. Power was provided to exhibits where required and throughout the building for other purposes. Some of the special exhibits requiring power included a new planetarium and a trainland, which includes trains that run throughout the second floor and parts of the first floor.


Project Facts

Location: Portsmouth, VA

Owner: City of Portsmouth

Type: New Construction

Gross Area: 59,100 sq. ft.

Floor Levels: 2

Owner's Budget: $2,000,000

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