Ayres Associates has provided services to the Chippewa Valley Museum since 1987. The first project was a long-range planning study to review options for expansion on the museum’s site in Carson Park in Eau Claire. In the first phase of that plan, Ayres helped the museum staff create a new permanent display and gallery for short-term traveling exhibitions. In the second phase Ayres relocated the main information desk to a spot adjacent to the main entrance, where limited staff can control the entrance, manage the adjacent gift shop, and observe the open waiting area used by group tours as a gathering place. Also designed were the new information desk, seating in the waiting area, and a new display wall opposite the main exit.
Subsequently, Ayres designed a new accessible entrance, providing a new look and facade to the museum entrance. Parking spaces were added near the front entrance, and the area was landscaped to integrate the facility into its natural park setting.
More recently Ayres designed a 12,000-square-foot addition housing display collections, an auditorium, offices, workshops, and an archival storage area. The archival storage area features a mezzanine with movable high-density storage files on the upper level for smaller items and large-item storage below. This project also included updating the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system to improve archival storage conditions. The project was carefully phased to allow the museum to remain open during construction.