ST. CLOUD - The Stearns History Museum in St. Cloud is looking at a major expansion project. They unveiled their initial expansion concept during their annual fundraiser a couple of weeks ago.

CEO Jim Davis was on WJON today (Monday) to talk more about the project. He says their current building is about 22,000 square feet, and they want to add an additional 57,000 square feet - almost tripling the size of the facility.

It will have a much expanded exhibit area, and a secondary exhibit area for traveling exhibits so that we can really better serve and have more new options available to us to create more interest with the public. And the current exhibit space of the existing facility is targeted to become a childrens museum.

Davis says we're the only regional center in the state without a children's museum. The expansion would nearly triple the size of the facility, at a cost of more than $20 million.

One of the first things we'll do, once we decide on an actual plan, is to do a feasibility study to see what this community can support in terms of that philanthropic area. We're also going to be looking at state bonding money. The state of Minnesota has bonded for museums in the past in other regions of the state.

The Stearns History Museum owns six acres at their current location, making a building expansion at that site possible. However, Davis says they're also open to the possibility of moving to a new location.