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Museum begins long-term development
November 27, 2013 Jerry Purvis   

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Photo by Kay Grote/Gering Citizen - Legacy of the Plains Museum board member Judy Amoo displays a set of gourds painted like Canadian geese while volunteer auctioneer Brad Grote takes bids during last week’s Gourd Art auction held at the museum. With auction proceeds of approximately $2,600 combined with money raised from vote tickets, museum curator Katie Bradshaw said over $3,000 was raised for museum operations.

The move and merger is going to take several years, but work continues on moving artifacts from the North Platte Valley Museum to its new location, joining the Farm And Ranch Museum under the new name of Legacy of the Plains Museum.

Last weekend was the latest of many scheduled work days when volunteers continue packaging material for storage at the new facility. The old building has been purchased by the City of Gering to house its Parks Department offices.

“We’re working in good faith with Gering to get moved out of the old building,” said LPM executive director Katie Bradshaw. “They’ve been very patient with us.”

The original timeline to get artifacts from North Platte Valley Museum building placed at the new museum became unreasonable, so those materials will be placed in temporary storage.

“We changed the plan to accommodate the city’s needs,” Bradshaw said. “The first step was to get the artifacts into crates and labeled so they could be moved more easily.”

The log cabin and sod house, outdoor features at North Platte Valley Museum, will be moved next spring, once concrete slabs can be poured at their new location.

The exterior of two new wings, which will double the floor space at Legacy of the Plains, have been completed. A sprinkler system will now need to be installed, along with lights, and electrical conduit. The floors also need to be done before an inspection from the Fire Marshal.

“All the artifacts are going into storage in our annex building,” Bradshaw said. “I’m not sure when it will be when we actually start laying out exhibits.”

The need for more office space, a collection processing area, second floor storage space and the heating/air conditioning system all add their own challenges to the eventual completion of the new building.

However, the NPV Museum’s paper archives and the Paul and Helen Henderson historical collection have already been relocated to the new building, where there was already available space in its archive.

The storyline committee continues to write drafts of how the artifacts will eventually be displayed and a new logo and website have being developed.

“One good thing about this project is that we don’t have too many cost overruns,” Bradshaw said. “We aren’t pushing our contractors to have the job completed by a certain date, which adds to the cost. We’re being flexible. And we’re also using volunteer labor whenever we can. So far, the building is coming in under cost estimates.”

So far, the museum’s capital campaign has covered costs for the merger and also for building and moving expenses. Going forward, funds will be used for exhibit development.
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