Presidential Library Undergoes Major Renovations

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It's been more than 10 years since the announcement was made that Texas A&M would become the home for George H. W. Bush's Presidential Library.

Since then, the library has come a long way and has become a landmark in the Brazos Valley. However, changes for the museum are on the horizon.

"In the ten years we've been here, we've found all kinds of new film, old archive film of President Bush, and archival photos of President Bush and Mrs. Bush that we didn't know existed before," said Warren Finch of the George Bush Presidential Library.

The library is celebrating its 10th anniversary, and as part of the landmark, the library is undergoing some major renovations. Both the President and Mrs. Bush had a definite idea of some changes they wanted to see brought in.

"President Bush wanted to see the library a lot more interactive, a lot more visual," said Finch.

Interactive and visual are two of the components that will be heavily incorporated in the museum's new design.

Demolition and construction crews have been hard at work since the beginning of May, clearing out the old and making room for the new. Despite the fact teardown crews have only been working for a couple of weeks, little remains of the past exhibit hall. The $8.3 million project is quickly moving, primarily for one reason.

"We're trying to do it as quickly as possible so that we disappoint as few visitors as possible," said Finch. "In many cases a re-design such as this would take a year-and-a-half, maybe longer, and we're doing it in eight-and-a-half to nine months."

However, officials say the renovations will be worth the wait as they have tons of new things and special features in store.

"I believe visitors will be engaged and be able to take more of the museum home, remember more of the museum because it will be much more visual," said Finch.

Officials say they have listened to ideas from the guests, and are very excited about one new exhibit in particular.

"Visitors always wanted to see President Bush's oval office, and we've never had that before," said Bush. "Now we'll get to present that in a unique way because we'll be the only presidential library you can walk into a replica of President Bush's oval office."

Officials hope the changes will be a perfect fit for the former president and his first lady.

The George Bush Presidential Library is expected to re-open its main exhibit hall November 10. Until then, visitors are welcome to view the White House Miniature exhibit.