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Roosevelt library organizers add $1.5M in fundraising
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Roosevelt library organizers add $1.5M in fundraising

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Theodore Roosevelt statue

A bronze statue of Theodore Roosevelt in the uniform he wore as a U.S. Army officer stands outside the town theater in downtown Medora.

Fundraising for the planned Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library near Medora brought in nearly $1.5 million from April through June, according to a new report.

Donations and pledges during the three-month period totaled more than $1.45 million. The project now has $155.1 million in donations, signed agreements, pledges and a state endowment.

The 2019 Legislature approved the $50 million operations endowment for the project, accessible only after organizers raised $100 million for the library. The library board announced last fall it had reached that goal. 

Norway- and New York-based architectural firm Snohetta was chosen last fall to design the library. North Dakota-based firms JLG and JE Dunn also have been selected for the project, as architect of record and construction manager, respectively.

Library CEO Ed O'Keefe said project organizers are closing out the concept design phase and hope by Aug. 1 to move to schematic design, when the plans will be further refined.

"It is getting directionally more specific," O'Keefe said.

The library board on Aug. 9 will meet and host a community breakfast in Medora and a site walk of the land proposed for the project, near the Medora Musical Burning Hills Amphitheatre. The board's events are open to the public.

"The site walk will be really informative because it's so much more detailed," O'Keefe said. "You can actually, physically see where the building will be."

Congress in December approved a provision for the sale of 93 acres of U.S. Forest Service land for the library. The board is still working to complete the acquisition.

The project honors the 26th president, who ranched and hunted in the Medora area in the 1880s as a young man. It extends to a Roosevelt scholars program at Dickinson State University, digitization of Roosevelt's papers at the university and partnerships with Theodore Roosevelt National Park and local ranchers and grazers.

The library could break ground in 2022 or early 2023, depending on weather, according to O'Keefe.

Reach Jack Dura at 701-250-8225 or jack.dura@bismarcktribune.com.

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