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Leaders to hold online open house for Heritage Center design process

Posted at 5:34 PM, Apr 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-21 19:58:56-04

HELENA — An online meeting Tuesday will give the public an updated look at design concepts for the planned expansion to the Montana Historical Society.

The Montana Heritage Center Building Committee will host a virtual open house at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Leaders will show a “50 percent” schematic – an early diagram showing some planned exterior and interior features, but with many details yet to be finalized.

The Montana Department of Administration’s Russ Katherman, who chairs the committee, said they want to see what the public likes and doesn’t like about the current plans.

“We want to make sure the people of Montana have an opportunity to weigh in and tell us if they think that we are on the right track with their Heritage Center,” he said.

The new Heritage Center is intended to create more space for the Montana Historical Society’s collections of art and artifacts and provide better conditions for storing and caring for those items. It will be located adjacent to the current MHS building, at the corner of 6th Avenue and Roberts Street.

One major question has been how the two buildings will be connected. The current design would link them at ground level, requiring 6th Avenue to be closed between Roberts and Sanders Streets.

Earlier this year, the Department of Administration conducted a traffic study on what might happen if the road was closed. Katherman said they want to give people in the neighborhood a chance to say what they would think about the closure.

If you want to take part in Tuesday’s meeting, you can find a link on the Heritage Center project website. The website also includes information about the project, if you are not able to take part.

Leaders will be accepting public comment on these steps of the design process through May 5. However, Katherman said they will keep going back to the public as the project moves forward.

“Throughout the design process, we’ll be glad to take input and comments, and hope people will stay engaged in meetings, on the website, however they have some time available,” he said.