Winona history museum approves $4 million expansionby Elizabeth Baier, Minnesota Public Radio
The Winona County Historical Society is getting a facelift.
The society's board of directors voted unanimously to build an addition to its current building and upgrade the existing facility. The expansion will allow officials to provide more space for artifacts and highlight rural and urban communities in Winona County.
Groundbreaking for the new addition is scheduled for July 20.
"This is an exciting time for us," Historical Society Executive Director Mark Peterson said in a statement. "We're looking forward to the addition and all it accomplishes, as well as the impact it will have on the county and downtown Winona."
The project expansion --- which was approved at a special meeting on July 1 --- is expected to cost $4.15 million, according to the board.
Fundraising for the project began in August 2007, and included grants from the Laird Norton Company in Seattle. Officials said the society still needs to raise about $250,000 to meet the total project goal. Winona residents Steve and Barb Slaggie have pledged a $250,000 donation if the society raises another $1 million.
"We've had more than 930 individual gifts," Peterson said." "That's unprecedented, and we did all the fundraising with local museum member volunteers."
The Winona County Historical Society was founded in 1935 and currently includes 1,400 members and 90 active business supporters.