Wednesday, December 01, 2021
45.0°F

Libby museum needs help paying for a new roof

by Daily Inter Lake
| October 26, 2021 12:00 AM

The Heritage Museum in Libby needs a new roof, and its board of directors is pushing to get the last of the fundraising completed so the project can progress on schedule.

The museum roof has been leaking for the last two years, according to a press release from Heritage Museum. Condensation and poor insulation have caused the 47-year-old wooden roof framework to rot. The roof must be replaced down to the tongue and groove boards, which rest upon the whole log rafters that can be seen inside the museum. So far, no permanent damage has occurred to the local historical artifacts or exhibits inside the building.

MBC Builders, LLC, of Libby was the low bidder at $405,415. That bid will be forwarded to the Montana State Department of Commerce for approval. The museum was awarded a Montana Historic Preservation Grant for $229,690 to help pay for the project.

The project is expected to be completed by Nov. 30, 2022; however, due to the state grant, the total amount for the entire project must be confirmed before any work can begin, the press release noted.

To date the museum also has submitted additional grant applications for $88,000, which could be awarded next spring. Several more grant applications are expected to be completed by mid-January. At a minimum, the museum is required to provide a 20% cash match ($45,938) for the Montana grant from its “emergency” savings account. At a maximum, if no additional grants are received in the spring, the museum must provide the cash match, plus raise an additional $129,787 to fund the roof replacement project.

The board is asking the community for help with fundraising ideas and volunteers to assist with activities over the next six months with a mid-May 2022 target date for final fundraising. Send an email to heritagemuseum@frontier.com or call 406-293-7521 and leave a message if you are interested in helping with the fundraising effort.

The Heritage Museum is a “hidden gem” in Libby and Northwest Montana. In 2021 there were 3,372 visitors, with 21 days of more than 40 visitors per day. Libby community volunteers built and have maintained the museum for nearly 50 years; there are no paid employees. The Heritage Museum is also now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.