NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Phase one of “Reimagine Nauticus” is now complete. Two brand-new exhibits are open to visitors, Norfolk in Time and Aquaticus.

In Thursday’s Community Chat, WAVY Digital Desk Host Sarah Goode spoke with Nauticus’ Director of Development and Marketing Rehn West. They discussed the large-scale changes and updates. Watch the conversation in the video player on this page.

The museum is about 90% to goal for the $21.5 million capital campaign. The project is set to transform the museum that opened in 1994. Next year will be the Nauticus 30th anniversary.

The new visitor experience will include interactive exhibits, STEM programming and maritime industry exploration. Rehn says the museum is “completely reimagining and rebuilding our exhibitry.”

Visitors will learn about Norfolk’s history and moments of resilience through Norfolk in Time.

Explore the first dedicated museum space to younger visitors called Aquaticus. This space is recommended for children 10 and under.

“It’s really for them to come into a whimsical and magical space underneath the Schooner Virginia,” West said. “It’s like you are transported into the deep sea, and there’s a lot of things for kids to touch and feel.”

West said it is one of their favorite exhibits and they are already seeing its success.

The two exhibits are connected by an aquarium hall, full of life that mirrors what really lives in our waterways. See jellyfish, seahorses, stingrays, and other fish.

The second phase of the redesign is set to begin in 2024, with the entire project to be completed by fall 2024. This will include a new entrance pavilion and more exhibits, including one focused on the Navy.

For more information watch the full Community Chat in the video player on this page. To read more about the project, visit the Nauticus website.