A preliminary groundbreaking was held Monday morning for the Alaska State Museum project in Juneau. State officials, historians, and lawmakers used a golden shovel to dig up the grass sod at one of the driveway entrances to the museum.
Linda Thibodeau, director of the state Division of Libraries, Archives, and Museums, says they already have $32 million dollars for the $124.5 million dollar project. A formal groundbreaking is planned for some time next year when the project is fully-funded.
Formerly called SLAM – for State Library, Archives, and Museum – the expansion project would incorporate all of Juneau’s facilities in a single building.
Thibodeau says the current Alaska State Museum building no longer meets code and has many problems. She says they determined that it would be more practical to demolish and rebuild the structure, rather than renovate and add on to it. Space is running out on the eighth floor of the State Office Building for the Library and Historical Collections, while the Archives building located below the SOB is literally splitting in two.
- More than 5,000 people may come to the Fairbanks area over the next four years as part of the move to base two squadrons of F-35 fighters at Eielson Air Force Base. The latest estimate announced Monday is well above the previous estimate of 3,500. The bigger population increase is expected to place a greater burden on local services.
- Blue king crabs around the Pribilof Islands are getting their first major assessment in more than 30 years.
- A new court case argues that the way in which state juries are selected in Alaska discriminates against rural, Native communities. The case could significantly impact the Delta’s court system if it’s successful.