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North Dakota Heritage Center hits $12 million fundraising goal; 'soft opening' set this month

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BISMARCK, North Dakota — The North Dakota Heritage Center has reached its goal of raising $12 million from private donors for an expansion project.

The Heritage Center on the state Capitol grounds is home to the State Historical Society of North Dakota and is the state's official history museum.

The museum is undergoing a $51.7 million makeover that will expand the facility by about 100,000 square feet.

Lawmakers approved $39.7 million for the project and officials relied on $12 million from private donations to complete it.

Historical Society Director Merl Paaverud (PAH'-vuhr-ood) says part of the facility is slated for a "soft opening" on April 28.

The grand opening for the expanded and renovated center is scheduled for November 2014, which is the 125th anniversary of North Dakota statehood.

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