$6 million renovation on Derby Museum to feature 12 new sections, interactive exhibits


by Gene Kang


Posted on March 18, 2010 at 4:19 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 18 at 6:15 PM

(WHAS11) - The Kentucky Derby Museum is revealing renovations on its new multi-million dollar project.   

Flash flooding in summer 2009 left the museum in desperate need of a massive makeover.   

Workers are now giving the Kentucky Derby Museum a huge facelift, costing nearly $6 million.

"We decided to embrace the change and about 85% of the museum is going to be new, from top to bottom," said Wendy Treinen of the Kentucky Derby Museum.

In August 2009, a flash flood devastated the first floor and basement.

"Water was coming in from the ceiling. It was coming up from the floors. It was exploding from the toilets and the sinks. It was coming from everywhere," said Treinen.

2,000 priceless artifacts were moved out of the museum to dry and office space was left in ruins.

Historic derby hats, saddles and jockey boots were all salvaged and have been stored safely downstairs.

Upstairs, workers are putting everything in place for the grand unveiling.

This is similar to an extreme museum makeover, derby style.

So can they finish the project on deadline?

"A lot of work has been done and i think we're going to be alright making it in plenty of time," one derby worker told WHAS11 News.

Nearly 12 original sections must be built.

The derby museum spent 30,000 hours on research, design and development.   

Treinen told WHAS11 about one of the new interactive exhibits. “This is 'riders up' they're measuring now for where will be three fiber glass horses you'll be able to get on their backs and the reins will control their movement. You'll get to choose your own adventure in a sense of the outcome of the race. So, the technology is so interactive that i think people are going to love it," added Treinen.  

The gift shop will be re-stocked with souvenirs and it will all be ready just in time for Kentucky Derby 136.
The grand re-opening will be Sunday April 18th from noon to 6 p.m. and is open to the public.

For more information: www.derbymuseum.org/