by Pipestone Creek Dinosaur Iniative
The County of Grande Prairie No. 1 Council has voted to provide up to $5 million necessary to move ahead with construction of the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum.
In December 2012, Council approved to move the museum project to the tendering stage but the process became delayed when the bids were returned. They learned the cost of building the facility was nearly $5 million over the planned budget of $30 million. An already-existing shortfall of $7 million meant the project faced an overall shortfall of nearly $12 million.
"Since day one, The County of Grande Prairie has shown strong support and leadership for this project," says Leanne Beaupre, County of Grande Prairie Reeve. "Now that we have done all the research to ensure we are getting the best value and quality for our dollar, we can bring this world-class educational, research and tourism facility to life."
"I'm very pleased that the decision has finally been made. Let's get on with it," said Ross Sutherland, Deputy Reeve and Chair of the River of Death and Discovery Dinosaur Museum Society.
The museum project has been underway for over 10 years, with a project staff - the Pipestone Creek Dinosaur Initiative - working full-time to achieve it since late 2010. The museum is expected to provide significant economic benefits for the region while also providing a center of excellence for research and education.
The County's overall contribution is now $12.6 million. The Government of Alberta has committed $10 million, the City of Grande Prairie $3.5 million and the MD of Greenview $250,000.
The Pipestone Creek Dinosaur Initiative has a remaining $7 million to raise for the museum and displays and several initiatives are underway to help achieve this. A naming sponsorship program has been launched, giving donors the chance to have their name attached to a variety of museum components, including dinosaur skeletons, classrooms and the theatre.
"I'm ecstatic with the decision of the County Council. This project has been underway since 2002 and finally we're going into the ground," said Brian Brake, executive director of the Pipestone Creek Dinosaur Initiative.