GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Thanks to the winter storm and polar vortex that socked Grand Rapids this week, the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum didn’t get a chance to open back up after the partial federal government shutdown ended.
On Friday at 1 p.m., the museum finally opened its doors again after more than 40 idle days.
The facility wasn’t completely vacant during the shutdown. Facilities manager Joshua Dawson was the only federal employee to report to the museum for the duration.
“Mostly it was contractor oversight, so it was overseeing our federal contractor partners … security, mechanical folks and maintenance. It was basically keeping the building open and operational and ensuring the safety of the taxpayers’ facility here,” Dawson said.
Officials at the museum would like to remind people the Breton Village train exhibit remains open through the weekend. It’s in the museum lobby, so it’s free.
The “In Step with Betty Ford” exhibit was scheduled to end in early January. It will now be open through Feb. 10.