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ND Heritage Center expansion nears completion after 2 years of work on $52 million expansion

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BISMARCK, North Dakota — State Historical Society leaders are confident that the bulk of the work will be done when the expanded Heritage Center on the North Dakota Capitol grounds holds its grand opening celebration in less than two weeks.

Society Director Merl Paaverud said during a Monday meeting on construction progress that he's not sure if all of the finishing touches will be complete, but he still expects visitors to be impressed, the Bismarck Tribune reported (http://bit.ly/1CPy2HM ).

The state's official history museum closed in the fall of 2012 for a $52 million makeover. The first two of three new galleries opened to the public in April. Work continues on the third new gallery, which Paaverud said is the largest.

"This part of it is going to be marvelous," he said.

The Inspiration Gallery will feature North Dakota history from 1861 to present and include exhibits on agriculture and technological advancement.

PHOTO: FILE - In this April 28, 2014  file photo, Gov. Jack Dalrymple looks up at a Tyrannosaurus Rex during a tour of the North Dakota Heritage Center and Museum in Bismarck, N.D. State Historical Society leaders say they're confident that the bulk of the work will be done when the expanded Heritage Center on the North Dakota Capitol grounds holds its grand opening celebration on Nov. 2, the 125th anniversary of North Dakota statehood. (AP Photo/The Bismarck Tribune, Tom Stromme, File)
FILE - In this April 28, 2014 file photo, Gov. Jack Dalrymple looks up at a Tyrannosaurus Rex during a tour of the North Dakota Heritage Center and Museum in Bismarck, N.D. State Historical Society leaders say they're confident that the bulk of the work will be done when the expanded Heritage Center on the North Dakota Capitol grounds holds its grand opening celebration on Nov. 2, the 125th anniversary of North Dakota statehood. (AP Photo/The Bismarck Tribune, Tom Stromme, File)

The first two galleries have drawn about 112,000 visitors since April and generated positive reviews, Paaverud said. The Adaptation Gallery focuses on prehistoric North Dakota through 13,000 years ago. The Innovation Gallery takes visitors from 13,000 years ago up until 1861, when what is now North Dakota became a territory.

The museum's grand opening is set for Nov. 2 — the 125th anniversary of North Dakota statehood.


Online:

http://www.history.nd.gov


Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com

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