Archive for Wednesday, December 12, 2001

Historical Society closer to realizing dream

December 12, 2001

Members of the Basehor Historical Society have worked feverishly for a city museum since 1996.

Today, it appears their work is close to becoming a reality.

Basehor Historical Society President Jerral Cooper said members will approach the city with plans for a combined museum and historical center in the coming weeks.

"Plans have been finished and will be submitted to the city so they can see if it meets the normal obligations," Cooper said.

If approved, the museum will be located at 158th Street and Parallel Road on 10 acres.

In October 1999, the Historical Society hosted a ground-breaking ceremony at the site. The land was donated by Basehor residents Ray and Anne Breuer.

The building will be more than 37,000 square feet and feature the museum, production theater, meeting rooms, a research facility and conference area.

It remains unclear whether there will be a museum curator, but full- and part-time employees as well as volunteers will work at the complex, Cooper said.

The project's total cost has not yet been determined, although Cooper estimates it could be anywhere from $1 to $2 million.

And while the Historical Society is currently trying to obtain grants for the project, Cooper said a major source of income for the complex will come from renting out the conference center.

"That's how we intend to support the building," he said. "The museum itself is not self-supporting. That's why we are building the conference center, to support the museum."

The Historical Society will also be hosting an auction, tentatively scheduled for this summer, to raise additional funds.

Items sold at the auction will come from donations.

"(We'll take) anything that people want to donate that we can sell," Cooper said. "We want to raise as much money as we can and we need the community to help with this."

Although the building remains on the planning boards, the Historical Society has already begun the process of obtaining items for the museum.

The Historical Society has been accepting historical items from area residents for the museum and will continue to do so in the future, Cooper said.

For information on donating to the Basehor Historical Society, contact Jerral Cooper at (913) 724-1155 or Bob Wiley at (913) 724-2597.

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