University of Minnesota to Open New History Museum Facility
ST. PAUL (AP) — The University of Minnesota will soon open its new $79 million facility for its natural history museum.
The Bell Museum of Natural History has more than 100 displays at its new facility on the university's St. Paul campus.
The building features a large amount of glass that mimics the feel of a museum display case, which museum spokeswoman Andria Waclawski said is intentional.
"Eventually when we're ready to have this up and lit, this scene will be visible from the outside day and night as a traditional diorama that the Bell Museum is known for," Waclawski said.
The museum includes 10 room-sized dioramas and 35 smaller displays. Wildlife painter Francis Lee Jaques has created scenes for many of the exhibits. One area features bones, animal skins, turtles and shells that visitors can see and touch.
The 92,000-square-foot building includes classroom spaces, an astronomy gallery and a digital planetarium. The museum also has a rooftop observation deck and a rainwater collection system that will provide irrigation, said Denise Young, the museum's executive director.
"We're also looking at native plants, a pollinator garden, our beehives, rain gardens, and different features that people could actually replicate at their own homes and businesses," Young said.
The museum will hold a grand opening event on July 13 and open to the public the following day.