Work on the new Brinton Museum has made great progress in spite of the past winter's weather.
Museum Director and Chief Curator Ken Schuster said the new building should be finished by Dec. 31 of this year, although the facility won't be open to the public at that time.
Ground was broken and the project started in July 2013. He said the museum board of directors hope to open by June 2016. One detail immediately obvious is that the new structure is being built into the hillside. The director talked about how the board made that decision.
In the meantime, the reception gallery and house museum have opened for the season. Hours are 10 till 5 Mondays through Saturdays and noon till 5 Sundays until Labor Day. The museum director said when the new facility is open in two years, offices and operations will move there. He said the board hopes, down the road, to remodel the reception gallery into an education center.
The Bradford Brinton house will continue to function as now, housing most of Brinton's collections of art and rare books and documents, and providing visitors a glimpse into the life of a gentleman rancher in the 1920s.
The new museum building is 23,000 square feet, more than five times the size of the reception gallery. Some 6,000 square feet will be for exhibit space. The director said the space is dedicated for conservation as well as exhibit of the collections, with fireproof construction and controlled humidity.
Contractor for the project is Groathouse Construction of Cody. Architects are Malone Belton Abel of Sheridan.