A bill appropriating $39.7 million for the expansion of the North Dakota Heritage Center was signed into law by Governor John Hoeven in the Main Gallery of the North Dakota Heritage Center on May 6.
Separate votes by the North Dakota House and Senate on Saturday, May 2, 2009 during the final hours of the 61st legislative session approved the $51.7 million expansion project for the North Dakota Heritage Center. The votes were 70-19 in the House and 45-1 in the Senate.
A full house gathered for the Senate Appropriations Committee held a hearing Thursday morning, March 5, on the North Dakota Heritage Center expansion bill. The hearing started 15 minutes early and adjourned at noon. A diverse assortment of perspectives about the project and the need for the facility were presented.
Enoch Thorsgard, a lifelong Northwood farmer who served in the North Dakota House of Representatives from 1969 to 1980, has been a supporter of the North Dakota Heritage Center for nearly 40 years. He championed the building of the Heritage Center as a Republican member of the House Appropriations Committee, and today at 91 years of age, he supports its expansion.
An editorial by Ken Rogers of The Bismarck Tribune: Change has come to the wheat fields, two-lane highways and rolling pastures of North Dakota...
Bismarck-Mandan native Kirk Lanterman, now of Seattle, Washington, the chairman emeritus of the Holland America Cruise Line, visited the State Capitol during a visit to the area on January 29. Kirk and Janet Lanterman have given $500,000 to support the expansion of the North Dakota Heritage Center, and its “Settlement Era Exhibit” in the Inspiration, Opportunities and Innovation Gallery.
Members of the State Historical Society urged lawmakers Monday to support a bill that would provide $30 million for an expansion of the state Heritage Center. Lawmakers on the Education and Environment Division of the House Appropriations Committee heard testimony on a bill modeled on the governor's budget that includes $18 million in state funds and $12 million in private donations to pay for the expansion.
The North Dakota Heritage Center would become a "beacon on the prairie" and the "Smithsonian of the Plains" if it's expanded, supporters told a House committee Monday. The $30 million first phase of a 97,000 squarer-foot addition would be fronted by the Northern Lights Atrium, a large glass cube facing east toward the State Street entrance to the Capitol Grounds. If backers get the hoped-for appropriation from the Legislature, it would open in 2014, the state's 125th birthday.
Bismarck Tribune Editorial: The North Dakota Heritage Center should be taken to the next level. The plan has been set out. A "Smithsonian on the Prairie" would be created by adding a 97,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art addition to the North Dakota Heritage Center, in time for the 125th anniversary of statehood in 2014. It would cost $52.4 million.
On December 3, Governor John Hoeven authorized $30 million for the expansion of the North Dakota Heritage Center. In his 2009-11 Budget Recommendation the Governor provided for $18 million for the project from the general fund and $12 million from special funds to be raised by the agency, for construction of an addition to the Heritage Center.