Jan. 29, 2007

DAHS hopes to expand facility

An approval will be needed from the City of Dassel for the proposed expansion

By Kristen Miller
Staff Writer

At the Dassel Area Historical Society’s annual meeting, Director Julie Lindquist announced a capital campaign for expansion of the Universal Laboratories Building.

The expansion is currently in a “feasibility study,” according to Lindquist. The society is laying out the ground work with architect Kevin Anderson.

Plans must then be approved by the City of Dassel and also the architectural historian at the Minnesota Historical Society.

The expansion comes from an agreement with the Minnesota Historical Society at the time the initial renovations took place. The agreement was that new restrooms would be added due to the current being not up to code, according to Lindquist.

The three-level expansion would include adequate restrooms, entryway, and office on the first level, archival storage on the second, and kitchen, bathroom and storage on the third.

Another phase would consist of a “black box” or more permanent exhibits room. This room would not include windows for better preservation of the pieces, according to Lindquist.

The advisory committee hopes to kick-off the fund-raising campaign during Red Rooster Days with plans to begin building in the spring of 2008.

Currently, there are approximately 400 DAHS members with memberships totalling $14,175 for 2006. With that, only $400 came from local businesses and $500 from townships. The society will look at soliciting mores businesses and visiting township boards.

The society approved a change in the bylaws is that all minutes and financial statements must be brought forth to the Dassel City Council for approval due to the fact the city is responsible for the ERGOT building, which is under the city’s insurance policy, according to liaison and city council member Bob Wilde.

The society also established a line item to track profits from book published by a local author. Contributions were given to DAHS for the publishing of Marvin Granath’s book “Growing Up and Going to War,” with proceeds going directly to the society.

In the book, John Granath or Wally of Collinwood Township was severely wounded in World War II. The book is $12 and can be purchased at DAHS or by calling (320) 275-3077 with a $2 shipping charge.

The City of Dassel will also be advertising for a new assistant director for the museum. Amy Wilde is currently filling the position on a temporary basis.

The society is paying Tom Warn, an artist from the Minnesota Historical Society to build a model of the workings of the original ERGOT building. The project will cost $8,500 which has been partly paid for.

The DAHS is also looking into extended their hours to Saturdays. Also, Carolyn Holjie and Lindquist will be going to the Minnesota Historical Society to look through more boxes of Magnus Johnson artifacts.

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