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Butte mining museum plans to add more buildings

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Posted at 9:55 AM, Apr 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-20 11:55:23-04

BUTTE — The World Museum of Mining in Butte is ready to expand.

“The more we have to offer the more people will come, the more people we can invite here and the more people we can share Butte’s amazing story with,” said World Museum of Mining Executive Director Janette Kopf.

The museum is finishing up its new pavilion as part of its first phase of improvements.

It plans to host live music, outdoor workshops and rent it out for special events.

The second phase will include the Mining Heritage Center that would add conference space and more room for historic exhibits.

“And this will allow us to keep a lot of those artifacts here safe, preserved and protected,” said Kopf.

Officials estimate it will cost more than $7 million for the second phase. They believe the added tourism will eventually make up for the cost.

“There’s more and more people coming each year, you know, last year, not so much, but we were hitting record numbers in 2018 and 2019 from the early 2000s. We’re on track to beat 2019 numbers again, said Kopf.

When they make these improvements to the museum, it will not only draw more people but it will give them an opportunity to educate people about the Mining City.

“That we can educate the future, and that we can share the present, there’s so much that’s changed from the late 1800s until now and we don’t have the space to tell all of that story and we want to be able to help share that story,” she said.

The museum is seeking grants and donations to start on the second phase of the project.