Director’s Update – Summer 2018
It has been such a pleasure for me to come to the Randall each morning since the museum reopened in February. The new spaces, the new exhibits, and the new color scheme and finish materials have made such a big difference in the museum experience. I am especially gratified that our visitors seem to share the same enthusiasm for the “new” Randall that I do. We are seeing a large increase in daily visitors, and we are also seeing nearly double the amount of donations in our “Quail” donations container. I suppose that is a testament to how much people are enjoying their visits.
The model train layout was always a popular focus of visitor attention, but now that it is open every day, and is part of the main circulation pattern, it is constantly filled with visitors both young and old. I should recognize both the generosity and skill that two of our model railroading enthusiasts have brought to bear in revitalizing the train layout. Jim Evans and Raphael Moll have been working steadily at improving the exhibit for months prior to the grand opening. Raphael in particular has devised a way to automate the exhibit using his expertise in digital technology. He has also his ingenuity and his craftsmanship in tweaking decades old, and mechanically fragile, analog hardware that was built into the original layout, into working seamlessly with the new control system. Now it is possible for any visitor to operate the trains with the simple push of a button. The revitalized layout also has some new audio-visual features that will be enhanced as time goes on.
I would also like to welcome Kelly Kinder, a new staff member that we have recently added to manage our social media platform as well as our printed publications. Kelly is a recent graduate of the University of North Carolina, and brings new talent and energy to our staff. Finally, I would like to recognize the contributions made by someone who has been with our museum staff for eight important years. Marcus Wojtkowiak, our Science Educator, Science Fair Coordinator, and all-around facility manager, is moving on to a new career as a partner in a small business enterprise in the Bay Area. Marcus has been an invaluable partner for me and the rest of the staff during his tenure. His “can-do” attitude and enthusiasm will be very hard to replace on our modest staff. He will definitely be missed, and we wish him all the success possible in his new venture.
Randall Museum Director