Members of the former Rome Area History Museum board of directors gather around Janet Byington (center with plaque) to mark the naming of the elevator in the museum, 305 Broad St., for Byington. The museum will become an arm of the Georgia’s Rome Office of Tourism effective Jan. 1.

The i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed. Effective January 1, the Rome Area History Museum, 305 Broad Street, will be managed and operated by the Georgia’s Rome Office of Tourism.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for the museum and all of what we’ve been working for,” said RAHM Board Chairwoman Ansley Saville.

Lisa Smith, executive director of the tourism office said she believes the change will be a huge win-win for the museum and the community.

The museum will be operated with a regular budget through the tourism office while at the same time holding on to it’s 501(c)3 tax-exempt status to allow people in the community who have been donors to continue their support of the museum moving into the future.

Smith said that plans call for some immediate technological and lighting upgrades to the museum. Plans also call for making improvements to the second floor meeting space at the museum on Broad Street.

Audio-visual enhancements and an upgrade to the kitchen are in the works upstairs.

The meeting space will be reserved through the City Facilities office and Wendy Reid at City Hall.

She wants to work a partner closely with both the Rome-Floyd County ECO River Education Center, Chieftain’s Museum and the Martha Berry Museum to bring in more exhibits that all three facilities can market together.

“I would like to see a lot of what we need to accomplish taken care of in the winter months so that we are ready for school groups,” Smith said. “We are going to do our first joint marketing with school groups.”

She wants to bring in more traveling exhibits and get s regularly scheduled lecture series going. Saville said that have paid city staff running the museum with regular hours would be so much easier than having to find and count on volunteers to keep the museum open.

“This is going to be an exciting project,” Smith said.

The final act of the former RAHM Board of Directors Friday was to name the elevator the Janet Farrar Byington Elevator.

“She’s been the mover and shaker to bring the museum into the future, along with Gardner Wright and Bill Temple,” Saville said.


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