Water-damaged DuPage Children's Museum to remain closed for 'few weeks'

  • A machine called a desiccant dehumidifier parked Saturday outside DuPage Children's Museum in Naperville works to remove excess moisture from the building after it suffered "significant water damage" after a pipe burst.

      A machine called a desiccant dehumidifier parked Saturday outside DuPage Children's Museum in Naperville works to remove excess moisture from the building after it suffered "significant water damage" after a pipe burst. Marie Wilson | Staff Photographer

  • Spectrum Restoration Services of Aurora is working to remove excess moisture Saturday from DuPage Children's Museum in Naperville, which suffered water damage when a pipe burst overnight Thursday. The museum expects to remain closed for a few weeks.

      Spectrum Restoration Services of Aurora is working to remove excess moisture Saturday from DuPage Children's Museum in Naperville, which suffered water damage when a pipe burst overnight Thursday. The museum expects to remain closed for a few weeks. Marie Wilson | Staff Photographer

  • Temporary plastic tubes, fans and ladders are set up Saturday inside DuPage Children's Museum in Naperville as part of steps crews from Spectrum Restoration Services of Aurora are using to remove moisture from the water-damaged building.

      Temporary plastic tubes, fans and ladders are set up Saturday inside DuPage Children's Museum in Naperville as part of steps crews from Spectrum Restoration Services of Aurora are using to remove moisture from the water-damaged building. Marie Wilson | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 1/10/2015 5:01 PM

DuPage Children's Museum in Naperville is likely to remain closed for a few weeks while crews clean and repair water damage caused by a burst pipe.

What museum spokeswoman Dee Dee McDevitt called "significant water damage" occurred overnight Thursday after a two-day cold snap of subzero temperatures. Damage was spread throughout the three-story museum at 301 N. Washington St., where water stood as high as the knees in some areas and a few inches deep in others.

 

"Late Thursday a pipe burst," McDevitt said Saturday. "Due to the burst, the pipe flooded the building."

The museum hired Spectrum Restoration Services of Aurora to remove the water and begin repairs. The company had about a dozen employees on site Saturday, President Cory Hansen said.

Crews were focusing on removing excess moisture from the building using a machine called a desiccant dehumidifier parked on the west side of the museum. The machine's bright blue structure and yellow tubes almost made it blend in with the museum's colorful exterior.

"It pushes dry air in and wet air out," Hansen said about the large dehumidifier.

Hansen said crews also were assessing just how much damage was done to the museum's walls, ceilings, floors, offices, artwork and exhibit materials.

One exhibit that McDevitt said suffered only "contained and limited" damage was a traveling display about love and forgiveness, called "XOXO," on the second floor. On loan from the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, it was scheduled to run until Feb. 1.

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While museum officials wait for a full damage assessment, they are working with their insurance provider about coverage for cleanup and overhaul work, McDevitt said.

Repairs are expected to take "a few weeks," she said, and she encouraged potential visitors to check the museum's website for updates on when it will reopen.

People who drove up to the museum around lunchtime Saturday with kids in their cars turned around and left after seeing signs that the museum was closed.

McDevitt said birthday parties and rentals scheduled in the upcoming weeks will be canceled, but the museum is working with its business partners to arrange potential discounts for members and to gather donations to help pay for water damage fixes.

"It's a time for the community to come together and support the museum and for us to do everything we can to make this a clean, safe environment," McDevitt said. "We're excited because we're going to open up and we're going to be better than ever before."

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