BOUNTIFUL -- It's almost time to pull out the gold shovels for a local museum project.
After years of waiting and fundraising, officials expect to break ground for a new regional museum by early May, said Dean Collingwood, chairman of the Bountiful Historic Commission. He expects to complete groundbreaking plans in the next few weeks.
"It's like a dream come true," Collinwood said.
The project cleared another major hurdle in late March when members of the Bountiful Redevelopment Agency held a special meeting to select a new construction manager/general manager for the museum. Hogan & Associates Construction of Centerville was awarded the project from a pool of three local bids, for approximately $1.9 million.
Aric Jensen, director of planning and economic development for Bountiful, said the actual construction costs will be determined in about a month, when subcontractors submit their bids and are selected.
The project will involve building onto the existing Bountiful/Davis Arts Center, 745 S. Main St., and making improvements to the Arts Center as well as building space for the museum.
Collinwood insists the museum will not be just a holding facility for relics. He said the plan is to make the new showcase as interactive as possible.
Moving the project forward has been a slow process for local historians. A sluggish economy hampered local fundraising efforts and three years into the effort to raise $1.5 million, officials were forced to downsize the project. Plans were reduced from a $1.5 million structure with 14,000 square feet to a $1 million structure with 8,500 square feet and no basement, to a combined structure now with the Arts Center.
The RDA voted earlier this year to create the framework for the project. That vote included an interlocal agreement with the city to manage the project on behalf of the agency and authorized the use of tax increment funding to finance the plan.
The RDA vote also authorizes the agency to pay funds to the city, which then may disburse money as necessary to complete the project.