The move back into Whanganui Regional Museum's Queens Park building is well under way and its director hopes the revamp will "astonish" when it reopens to the public in November.
The Watt St building has been closed since September 2016 for seismic strengthening and interior renovations.
Museum director Frank Stark told Whanganui District Council's property and community services committee that strengthening work had been completed and "we're a considerable way through the installing of one of the major parts of the building now".
About 1400sq m of new exhibitions will be installed, along with an upgrade of the collection storage and handling facilities.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
"We're looking at expanding the frequency of change of the museum attractions, particularly focusing on the taonga Maori collection," Stark said.
The refurbished museum will feature a new front of house and shop layout with special areas for education and family groups, including a 24-seat audio visual lounge and a 140sq m exhibition area for touring exhibitions "at a scale that we haven't been able to do before".
Stark said there would be only minor cosmetic changes to the outside.
"Really, I think our overall aim is to have people's astonished reactions when they walk into what seems like a largely unchanged building and see how changed the interior will be."
While the Queens Park building has been closed, people have been able to access the museum at its temporary Ridgway St location - which attracted just over 35,000 visitors during the year to June 30.
"While your museum is closed it is still very much open so you'll see some very gratifying visitor numbers and some very, very gratifying satisfaction form two survey's we've run during that time," Stark said.