The Rossland Museum and Discovery Centre has received a huge boost to its expansion plans with a $700,000 donation announced Thursday by Teck Metals Ltd.
The smelting company gave the museum the cash to launch the fundraising campaign for Phase II of its renewal project.
The money will be used to create a replica mine experience at the centre.
“It’s very exciting,” says Libby Martin, the president of the Museum and Archives Association. “We’re very pleased.”
Martin says the museum has been in talks with Teck for several years, since an underground tour closed several years ago, about creating the simulated mine experience.
Phase II has an overall fundraising goal of $1.2 million. In addition to the mine experience, the renewal project includes integration of the existing world-class geology collection and a new atrium space housing a visitor centre, programming space and gift shop.
The atrium will be at the front of the existing building, while the mine experience exhibit will be attached to the rear of the structure.
“The museum is excited this much-anticipated mine experience will soon become a reality,” said Martin. “Without the support of Teck, this vision would not be possible. We thank Teck for their guidance and commitment to helping the Museum succeed.”
Martin says getting such a large single grant can help in fundraising efforts.
“Well, I think it probably should,” she says. “This substantial amount … will help provide some leverage for further funding for the project.
“The overall projected cost is about $1.4 million. This will go a long way towards helping us with that.”
Construction of Phase II is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2020, with a grand opening planned for the summer of 2021.
Phase I, which opened in the summer of 2017, included building a new entrance gallery, archives, offices and washrooms.
The new mine experience exhibition will hold displays of mining life and technology in the Rossland area.