Patriots Point museum to reopen in time for Memorial Day weekend

VIDEO: Patriots Point museum reopens Friday in time for Memorial Day weekend

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - One of the Tri-County area’s largest attractions is reopening Friday after several weeks of being shut down.

But the Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum has several safety precautions in place to keep visitors safe.

Ultraviolet light air purifiers are now installed throughout the USS Yorktown’s air conditioning units. The UV lights will did the air of bacteria, germs, and viruses. The new system cost the museum more than $33,000.

“The aircraft carrier when it came out was pretty ahead of its time with some of the technology and what it was able to do during the war,” Patriots Point spokesman Chris Hauff said. “And then fast forward almost 80 years later, we’ve got some lights that shine on germs and kill them. So I think that’s really a neat way to promote what we’re doing in our air conditioning system to keep people safe.”

Floor markers have also been placed throughout the entire museum to encourage social distancing. Some tightly-spaced areas will remain closed, and guests will now have access to more than a dozen hand sanitizing stations.

Staff members say they’ve also been able to do a lot of maintenance on things that have needed it for a while. Employees have been there every day working on things they normally aren’t able to while they’re open.

Some exhibits are now completely redesigned and repainted. They say the USS Yorktown hasn’t been in better shape since before they put it here in the 1970s.

"Optimistic is the word,” Hauff said. “We hope that things go well. We’re happy to be back at work and work with adults, and welcome people from across the Lowcountry back to see the museum, and be able to recreate and restart our mission.”

They will only have self-guided tours and although no one is required to wear a mask, they do recommend it.

Starting Friday, the museum will be open from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

The museum is urging everyone to purchase tickets online.

They will be valid for one year. Tickets can also be purchased at the museum.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.