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Roosevelt library nets $3.2M in donations after reaching initial fundraising goal

Roosevelt library nets $3.2M in donations after reaching initial fundraising goal

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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.

Organizers of the planned Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library near Medora have raised more than $3 million since last fall.

The $3.22 million in donations and pledges garnered from Nov. 1-March 31 is in excess of the $100 million raised to access a $50 million state operations endowment approved by the 2019 Legislature.

The project now has more than $153.6 million in donations, signed agreements, pledges and the endowment.

Library organizers will have a new goal amount of money to raise but have not yet determined the target, according to Library CEO Ed O'Keefe. Planners are finalizing "space programming," or "essentially what’s going in the museum beyond the interpretive experience," he said.

"That will help us set the total budget for the main building and associated landscape architecture," O'Keefe said. Construction will cost more than $100 million.

The project also 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.

Congress in December passed a $2.3 trillion spending package that included new federal coronavirus aid and a provision for the sale of 93 acres of U.S. Forest Service land for the library.

The project honors the 26th president, who ranched and hunted in the Medora area in the 1880s as a young man.

Library construction could begin in late 2021 or early 2022.

Reach Jack Dura at 701-223-8482 or jack.dura@bismarcktribune.com.

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