On Tuesday, June 10, demolitions marked the start of a new renovation project at the History Center of Olmsted County in Rochester, Minn. According to local news station KTTC, the renovations are expected to transform the center’s exhibit hall into a brand-new space for programming and new exhibits. A temporary exhibit has been built to display some items and areas of the museum during construction. Executive Director Lisa Baldus told KTTC that the renovations were sorely needed. “We decided we really needed to revamp this place so that we could have more energy in here and grow our membership,” Baldus said. “Especially with Destination Medical Center coming up here soon, we wanted to retain our viability here in the community.” Baldus told KAAL TV that the new, modern History Center will feature a greater focus on visuals and interactivity, with less use of wordy, text-ridden displays, as part of a “living history initiative.” “It’s about how people learn with all five senses, they walk into a museum and they don’t want to be force-fed the information. They don’t want lines, lines and lines of information,” she said. Before the renovations, the History Center of Olmsted County has had carpeted floors. If the renovations include wood flooring, which is equal parts pastoral and vintage, it would help the museum convey its history with a stylish, popular interior surface. The History Center of Olmsted County features a variety of permanent, temporary and online exhibits to help educate people about the history of Olmsted County, according to its website. Its permanent exhibits, which symbolize the county’s major historic touchstones, focus on the Mayo Clinic, St. Mary’s Hospital, IBM and Marking Broadway. According to KTTC, the renovations will be completed by the end of August. The cost of the renovation has been funded entirely by donations from members of the community.
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