Serri, Hill get tour of Heritage Center progress

Looking at it from the outside, the North Dakota Heritage Center has obviously grown from just a few short years ago. From the inside, it’s a whole different museum space. On March 1, Basin Electric’s CEO and General Manager Andrew M. Serri and Dennis Hill, executive vice president and general manager of the North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives (NDAREC), had an opportunity to see the state museum expansion and renovation up close.

Claudia Berg, expansion and new initiatives coordinator, took Serri and Hill through the paleo labs, 3-D collections, which included mine equipment from the 1920s and the gun vault, and a walk through the new museum spaces. Watch a video. The tour concluded in what will be the Touchstone Energy® Cooperative Governors Gallery, which will feature changing exhibits.

Claudia Berg (left) explains the new exhibit space to Andrew Serri (center), Dennis Hill (behind Serri) and other State Historical Society and Foundation staff.

Claudia Berg (left) explains the new exhibit space to Andrew Serri (center), Dennis Hill (behind Serri) and other State Historical Society and Foundation staff.

Basin Electric is a lead business contributor to the Heritage Center expansion. The cooperative is donating $250,000 in funds and $250,000 in in-kind services to the $52-million project. Together, with NDAREC and Great River Energy, headquartered in Elk River, MN, which donated the flyash used to build the new walls, the total electric cooperative contribution amounts to $1.3 million.

The 5,000-square-foot Governors Gallery will host temporary and traveling exhibits.

This fall, the museum will begin opening in stages. On Sept. 1, the new entrance will open to the Northern Lights Lobby, hallway exhibits, new Museum Store, James River Café, Great Plains Theater, Missouri River Events Center, Hub of History, Pembina River Plaza, and renovated Russell Reid Auditorium.

Four new galleries will open over the course of the next year and a half with completion scheduled for Nov. 2, 2014, North Dakota’s 125th anniversary of statehood.

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