Montana Heritage Center construction updates and new education program announced

Posted at 7:04 PM, Oct 03, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-05 12:08:47-04

HELENA — Governor Greg Gianforte and the Montana Historical Society announced new developments to the construction of the Montana Heritage Center.

“It will be a place where visitors explore the landscapes and people that call Montana home. It will share the story of all Montanans,” said Molly Kruckenberg, the Montana Historical Society Director.

A project that started over three years ago, the new Heritage Center includes a 66,000-square-foot addition so the Historical Society's existing building. It will also include new exhibits and an enhanced visitor experience.

One new addition is an elevator mine shaft ride.

“It simulates a mine shaft in Butte. You get in, it rattles, the wind blows, and the movie footage is actually footage from underground in Butte. You go down into the mine and experience what it was like to work underground,” Gianforte said.

The whole renovation will cost $60 million, and currently they are only $2.7 million away from that goal.

Along with a renovated center, they are also raising money for the Montanan History and Civics Education Endowment.

This program will allow schoolchildren from across Montana to travel and visit the heritage center and state capitol.

“They’ll learn about our state's history and how government works, they’ll have lunch in the café, they’ll tour the capitol, go over to Last Chance Gulch and it will be a real-world experience for them. They make connections from what they learned in the classroom and the real world,” said Gianforte.