After working for the past five years out of the rooms of an abandoned Newport Beach elementary school, officials with the Orange County Natural History Museum announced that they have signed a seven-year lease for a building in Aliso Viejo, a mile from the site where they hope to build a permanent facility.
The 32,000-square-foot, two-story building will house the museum's growing collection of Orange County artifacts--as well as exhibits featuring everything from robotic dinosaurs to a mock-up of the space station Freedom.
Curators also hope to use the facility as a headquarters for outdoor tours and walks in the Aliso and Wood Canyons Regional Park area, according to Susan Moore-Laux, assistant director of the museum.
Despite the larger site, however, Moore-Laux said that much of the museum's resources will remain in storage until a permanent museum is built.
The Natural History Foundation, the organization behind the museum, has collected thousands of pounds of fossils, artifacts and local relics that still need to be cleaned, identified and classified before they can be displayed, Moore-Laux said.
Doors to the museum's new building are scheduled to open in the late fall.