BUTTE. Mont. - A massive new project is underway to help preserve Butte's rich mining history.
World Museum of Mining officials announced plans on Thursday to build a new Mining Heritage Center. Officials estimate it will cost about $3 million.
Organizers said the center will be used for archives, displays and to house the gift shop.
Museum director Jeanette Kopf said there isn't enough room for the number of people touring the site.
Kopf said the new center has been in the works for a while and will be built in the parking lot.
"Talk of the building has been a talk for 40 years,” Kopf said. “It's been kind of stagnant for that 40 years just because we needed to grow and we needed to get to that point. The past three years we've been working hard to make this dream a reality. Now we're making the steps to make it a reality.”
Kopf said she has about $10,000 set aside to begin designing the building and hopes contractors can begin work by 2019.