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Museum at Rock Creek breaks ground on new expansion project

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The Washington County Historical Society & Museum broke ground Thursday, Sept. 27, on a major renovation that will more than double its footprint, greatly enhance its collection space and boost its educational and exhibit programs. The ground-breaking ceremony brought together civic leaders, donors, staff and volunteers who helped reach the Washington County Historical Society’s $1.7 million goal for Phase 1 construction.

The first phase, expected to be completed by spring 2008, will double the museum’s collection storage space and add a 1,000-square-foot Merrill Pioneer Classroom. Phase 1 will also more than double staff and volunteer space.

“It’s been over five years of planning and fund-raising, but now we are seeing the fruits of our labor and our vision realized for a new Washington County Museum,” said Washington County Historical Society Executive Director Mark Granlund. “The new museum will provide a new home for the history of Washington County and a new place for county residents and visitors alike to learn about our county’s rich and colorful history.”

Those attending the ceremony wielded shovels to break first ground on the project, which was designed by Portland architectural firm CIDA and will be built by KHI Construction. Speakers included PCC Rock Creek Dean of Instruction Steve Ward and many others. The Washington County Historical Society will soon begin fund-raising for Phase 2 of the museum makeover. This second phase will include a new 1,000-square-foot lobby, more than 4,000 square feet of new and remodeled exhibit space, a public research library, an espresso café, a museum store, a large outdoor plaza, new landscaping, remodeled bathrooms and a staff and catering kitchen.

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, has been the Communications Specialist for the Office of Public Affairs at Portland Community College since November of 1999. A graduate of Portland State University, J... more »