The expansion of the Fort Nelson Heritage Museum is progressing well after delays caused by a three-week cold snap this winter, and officials expect the new building to be completed by late March.
Kim Eglinski, business development manager, says the museum is looking forward to additional space for storing artifacts and archives, alongside possible interactive displays in the future. Dedicated office space, a conference room, a larger theatre room, and a new roof are also planned.
“It’s going well, but there’s still a long way to go. It’ll go fast now,” she said. “We’re looking forward to having individual space, we’re looking forward to having actual storage space, we’re looking forward to be able to look after the archives properly.”
Eglinski added curator-in-training Jayme Unruh is excited about added gallery space, and the theatre room planned as part of the expansion. Plans have yet to be finalized on how the gallery will be laid out, says Eglinksi, but valuable documents and papers will be going into temperature controlled storage to better preserve the materials.
Unruh has been with the museum since she was 14, learning everything she could about the collection started 60 years ago by local legend and pioneering historian Marl Brown, who died last June.
Unruh says she's looking forward to utilizing the new space, but won't have a better sense of what that will look like until the building's finished.
"I'm really excited for it to be completed and it's starting to look like an actually building," said Unruh.
"With the gallery space, it's really hard to plan what's physically in the space. It's a lot like when you move into a new house and then when you get it there none of your furniture fits. But we're really hoping to have interactive and hands on displays," she added.
The eccentric and well-loved Brown came to Fort Nelson in 1957, working as a mechanic for the Royal Canadian Army at Mile 245. Many of the pieces at the museum are vehicles and equipment maintained by Brown over his career.
Watch a timelapse below of trusses being raised for the expansion:
Tom Summer, Alaska Highway News, Local Journalism Initiative. Email Tom at email@example.com