Groundbreaking held for Tri-State Museum Addition

Belle Fourche News

Members of the Belle Fourche community, as well as surrounding communities, will soon have even more of the Tri-State Museum and Visitor Center to enjoy! The museum held an official groundbreaking for its new addition on the afternoon of Wednesday, Dec 6.

In attendance were Museum Director Kristi Thielen, Museum Board President Char O’Dea, Mayor Randy Schmidt, Foundation Board President Wayne Gilbert, Foundation Board Treasurer Mary Wendt, City Engineer Brent Hardy, Assistant City Engineer Steve Nafus, City Councilmembers Larry Schmaltz, Bob Somervold, and Clark Sowers, Police Chief Ryan Cherveny, Human Resources Director Gina Carpenter, Finance Officer Jason LaFayette and Rec Center Interim Director Renee Collins. Also present were Ainsworth-Benning Construction Division Leader Tate Johnson, Project Superintendent Cory Hegge, and Project Manager Branden Ginter.

With an estimated completion date of late September 2024, the approximated 4000 square foot addition will feature a large area for exhibits and events, a small classroom, kitchen, small restrooms, and a mechanical room. “They anticipate they will ‘break-through’ to the museum proper in April,” says Thielen. “Once the addition is in place and the temporary exhibit can reside there – instead of down the center of the museum, as it does now – we will be moving some of the exhibits in the museum itself to take advantage of that open space. What we move where can’t be determined yet, but what this means is that the addition will not only give us new space, but it will allow much of the museum itself to have a new look.”

The mild conditions the area has enjoyed this year have played a significant role in the progress of the project up to this point. “So far, the weather has been fair, and work can be done each day,”  The Ainsworth-Benning crew have been wonderful,” says Thielen, “and we were so tickled when the Project Superintendent, Corey Hegge, put holiday lights up around his trailer on site! We are all hoping for a mild winter so construction stays on track!”