Ongoing wet weather has put a dampener on plans to open a new Mathematics Gallery in Ocean View by the end of the year, with the owners having to push back their official opening date.
Dr Calvin and Rosemary Irons are now hoping to have the gallery built and their artefacts, artworks and books installed in time to welcome visitors in mid-2023.
“We have had so many days lost to wet weather that we will not be opening now until mid-2023 at the earliest,” Calvin says.
“The construction work began in August but has taken until late October before all the concrete was poured.
“The final pour took place very early in the morning and until it was dark, with many trucks and a strong workforce being involved in this successful step forward.
“One of the major parts of the project has been realigning the section of Mt Mee Road in front of the gallery, which is the same entrance to Ocean View Estates Winery.
“If you are familiar with this section of road, you will know it has many twists and turns and some dangerous corners. Extra care was always needed when driving up and turning into the winery.
“The new upgraded road work includes a turning lane but more importantly, the removal of much of the hill opposite the winery that blocks a safe view of oncoming traffic.
“Once complete, this will result in a much safer corner, particularly for the many motorcyclists that pass by every day.”
Plans become a reality
Despite delays out of their control, Calvin says it is still exciting to see the building taking shape.
“It’s amazing to see the building designs that were previously only on paper start to take physical shape through loads of framework, blockwork, concreting and other construction methods,” Calvin explains.
“There have been many little steps that have led to where we are now. These steps include several stages of footing, retaining walls and then the pouring of a large concrete slab. This slab took time as several coats of sealing needed drying and curing time.
“But we are now past the concrete stage and into building the walls and ceiling which is happening now.”
With more of the building taking shape, Calvin says he can start to envision what the inside will look like.
“Just as the building construction is progressing, so is the development of content and collection of items to be displayed inside,” he says.
“Once the building is occupiable, we will be inside preparing the space for visitors – meaning we will have a better idea of when we will have the gallery open and operational for the community.”
This includes transporting more than 6000 mathematics books into the gallery’s library.
Calvin says some of the other interesting things to feature in the museum include a locally crafted wooden soccer ball that describes how all soccer balls are made up from an icosahedron 3-D shapes made with 20 equilateral triangles) when truncated results in pentagons and hexagons, as well as a novel triangular multiplication chart used in the 1800s to learn multiplication facts up to 25 x 25.
“The first exhibits in the gallery will be to show the early history of mathematics and how ideas from over 3000 years ago are now in use today,” Calvin says.
“For example, the system of weighing precious objects in the Indus Valley of Asia (predominately located in modern day Pakistan) used a pan balance and weights that were binary.
“Binary is the basis for computer systems today.
“The outer portion of the gallery will focus on historical topics (used today) while the inner portion of the gallery will highlight these modern-day applications of mathematics.
“Activities will accompany the explanations using materials like this binary set of weights made for a classroom today and tested on a 130-year-old pan balance close to the style used in the towns along the Indus River.”
Educating young minds
Calvin says he has already received a lot of interest from schools that are keen to plan excursions to the Mathematics Gallery when it opens.
“We have had tremendous interest with several schools already wanting to organise visits which we are very excited about,” he says.
“The purpose of the gallery is to promote the interest, relevancy, and enjoyment of mathematics so it is great to have a good response particularly from schools.
“We can’t be too specific about when the gallery will be open for school trips buy when they do visit the first point of interest might be the 4-metre-wide interactive screen where they can explore a range of mathematical ideas across several cultures.”
Follow the gallery’s progress
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