It’s been in the works since 2016, and now the Clearwater Historical Society Museum and Cultural Center is finally open to the public. The facility celebrated its grand opening over the weekend when it welcomed visitors to explore the archives and artifacts housed at what was once the South Ward Elementary School at 610 S. Fort Harrison Ave..
Using the help of volunteers — who will staff the facility — and the support of both local government and businesses, the museum and cultural center will be open just three days a week — Thursday, Friday and Saturday — from 10 a.m.-2 p.m..
More exhibits, a research library, and more meeting and event space for the community are planned. An on-property library originally built in 1958 is serving as an events center.
The society has a 50-year lease on the South Ward property’s seven buildings and pays the city just $1 a year. In 2016, the Clearwater City Council committed $12,000 a year for three years to help the society realize its dream of creating the museum and cultural center.
There’s a part of the museum highlighting the Clearwater Jazz Festival, and another part of the museum will celebrate the Clearwater Bombers (a men’s fast-pitch softball team that won 10 national championships). No word, however, on whether there’ll be a corridor celebrating the history of the Church of Scientology (which completed construction on downtown Clearwater’s largest building, the Flag Building, in 2011).