CEDAR FALLS, Iowa - A major budget cutting decision, made months ago, is playing out. Both the UNI Museum and Price Lab School Buildings are closing for good.
Drea and Ari spent the afternoon with their Grandma Kathy Behnke at the UNI Museum. They came because they knew it would be their last opportunity. Staff members locked up the building at 4:30 p.m. on Friday.
"It is a nice charming place. I wish more people would have a chance to come in the future," Behnke said.
Many filtered in to see the exhibits before workers locked the doors for good. Some signed the guest book with notes like, 'sorry you're closing.' Museum staff members put up a final display filled with photographs and newspaper clippings before the building closes. It takes a look back at 120 years.
On the last day, workers are proud of the museum's history and said, by now, they though they'd be growing instead of condensing their collection and closing their building.
"For months we've had lots and lots of people coming through being very upset this museum is being closed, this building is being closed ... this is an important cultural resource," said UNI Museum Director Sue Grosboll.
While many said their goodbyes to the museum building, the Price Lab School scene was much different. It was quiet with doors boarded up. A UNI spokesperson said Friday was the final work day for the staff. Only a handful remained, working behind locked doors.
"People are wrapping things up and getting everything prepared, tomorrow will be it," said UNI Spokesperson Lindsay Cunningham.
The building officially closes Saturday, June 30. Some say the closings have a bigger meaning.
"It's the end of an era," Grosboll said.
The museum said their next step is to move some of its collection to a building on campus for students to enjoy. They'll also start the long process of finding new homes for items in their exhibits at other museums.
Many have voiced their opposition to the closing of the two buildings. The university maintains these budget cutting measures will create a better future for the school.