Park City Museum building fee waived
The Park City Historical Society will soon get some elbow room.
The local nonprofit, which runs the Park City Museum, recently applied for a fee waiver of $17,837.03 for building, planning and engineering fees associated with the construction of an annex, known, for now, as the Park City Museum Education and Collections Center, at 2079 Sidewinder Dr.
The City Council approved the waiver Thursday night for full amount, said Michelle Downard, deputy chief building official, during an interview with The Park Record.
"It was a unanimous decision," Downard said. "Recommendations were based on that the new structure is going to not only house many of the artifacts documenting Park City’s history, but that it would also provide workshops and educational programs for the local citizens."
The fees were waived because of the public benefit, according to Downard.
"The Historical Society is a great nonprofit that has been with us for quite a few years and it’s great that the city can provide that support to them, and in, turn have them provide services to the community," she said.
Park City Historical Society’s next step is construction of the annex to the Park City Museum, said Executive Director Sandra Morrison.
"We’re going to build the annex at Prospector Square," Morrison told The Park Record. "To clarify, we’re not moving. All the operations will remain on Main Street. The museum is fabulous and we love being on Main Street, but we will build a new building to help us store our collection."
The new building will be located between Grub Steak and Park City Lock and Key, according to Morrison.
The two-story building, designed by REA Architecture in Salt Lake City, will be constructed on the 6,000-square-foot lot, she said.
"It will probably take about a year to complete," Morrison said. "In Prospector you can build from lot line to lot line. That makes the most sense for us because we hope the facility will take care of our collections for the next 50 years."
Project has been in works since the museum underwent a $9 million renovation in 2009.
"When we did that, we realized that we wanted to show as many exhibitions and get as many of our artifacts out of storage and on display as we could," she said. "However, we also have a lot of stuff that we are preserving in perpetuity that we will probably never put on exhibit."
Those items include Park Record newspapers going back to 1880, thousands of photographs and negatives, slides and textile items.
"We may never exhibit those, but we, of course, don’t want to throw them away," Morrison said. "What we want to do is make sure they’re still here 100 years from now."
The annex will feature a climate-controlled storage vault.
"The two things that will damage the artifacts are heat and light," Morrison explained. "So the vault will be quite cold at 55 degrees and it will be dark.
The vault will also feature a humidity control.
"The colder it is, the more humidity you have," Morrison said. "Everything we have is from Park City and those things are used to low humidity."
Morrison and her staff looked at other storage facilities to get an idea of what they needed.
"We did some research and visited the Marriott Library and the LDS Church archives," she said. "Unlike the LDS church archives that has one of their vaults that is below freezing, we will only have a small space that will be a cold storage, but that will mostly be for photographs and an estimated 50,000 negatives in our collection."
The other part of the annex will be more accessible to people, Morrison said.
"We will be able to bring some of our items out of storage so staff and interns can do some conservation work on them," she said. "And we will also have space to host workshops.
"We will be able to give school children hands-on experiences, which we don’t have the space for on Main Street," Morrison said. "We would also love to bring in people to do professional-development sessions not only for our staff, but staff from other museums and the public. And teach them how to preserve Grandma’s wedding dress."
While Morrison didn’t reveal how much the museum paid when it purchased the lot in 2014, she did say the whole project would cost about $2 million.
"We’ve raised 3/4 of the funds and looking to do more fundraising," she said. " Groundbreaking will most likely take place within the month."
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