ND Heritage Center Expansion - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

ND Heritage Center Expansion

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Since March of 2011, the expansion of the North Dakota Heritage Center has been underway, and soon the community will be able to see the nearly finished project.

It all began in 2009 when the State Legislature gave the Heritage Center $40 million to begin their expansion.

Since then the State Historical Society has raised over $12 million to continue the work.

$600,000 of that came from the Tom and Frances Leach Foundation to create the new Great Plains Theater.

The rest of it came from multiple businesses and people in the community.

"We have one fine lady, she gives us $10 every month from her check and that just as special as the biggest gift that we get and it makes sure that we have a first class facility here that everybody's getting to participate. This is North Dakota's museum, this is our history and everybody's participating in that," State Historical Society Development Officer Karl Lembke said.

The project is nearly complete.

"It's more of a marathon than a sprint in doing some of the activities here," ND Historical Board Director, Museum Division Chris Johnson said.

They have expanded the building 100,000 square feet, an area they will fill easily.

"Our history is something that it keeps going on through each passing day so it's important for us to keep remembering that and collecting that history as well for future generations to appreciate," Johnson said. 

The museum still has many of the old exhibits, but everything has been upgraded.

They also have many new, hands-on features, and technology has been incorporated into many of the exhibits.

"We'll have quite a bit for people to see when we have those doors open," Johnson said.

The exhibit will have a soft opening on April 28th and a grand opening on November 2nd.

They're currently building an outdoor theater on the South side of the building.

The Heritage Center is free to attend and will be open to the public 7 days a week from 8-5.

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