Plans to spruce up and expand Hong Kong’s decades-old science museum could be finished by the end of the year as visitor numbers exceed the volume it was designed to handle, officials said.
Chan Shing-wai, assistant director of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), said more than one million people visit the museum in Tsim Sha Tsui each year on average. He added officials would talk to the district council and community groups about making it bigger.
Opened in 1991, the museum has long been a popular site for students and families to learn about science through hands-on displays and games. The neighbouring Hong Kong Museum of History – which welcomes more than 1.2 million guests on average annually – will also be included in the plan to improve the site.
“The number of visitors to the science museum has exceeded what it could handle, as stated in its design plan, made 20 to 30 years ago,” Chan said.
“We hope to make an initial expansion plan within this year.”
The government is already planning to redesign the museums’ exhibition halls and designs.
A revamp of the inside of the science museum will happen between 2019 and 2024. The history museum is expected to be done by 2022. There was no set date for the expansion, which could include building on the adjacent public piazza.
Teresa Kwok, 14, of South Island School (SIS), said she enjoyed her visits to both museums as she could see things that were not in her textbooks.
“However, the museums don’t have too many extra fun activities and it will be better if there is more stuff that involves interaction between people,” she said. “I hope there will be more interesting things there and I will definitely go to these museums after they fix them up.”
Another SIS student, Aiswarya Rambhatla, 15, is also looking forward to visiting the improved museum.
“I personally believe that the resources and exhibits that they have are extremely informative and interactive,” she said. “The displays are up to date and it’s great they are using them to spread awareness of issues such as climate change.”