Planning Firm Hired for Theodore Roosevelt Center at Dickinson State University

Fri Jan 24, 2014 at 12:00 AM

DICKINSON, N.D. – Dickinson State University (DSU) has hired Hilferty & Associates Inc. to assist in the planning process for the further development of the Theodore Roosevelt Center. DSU and Hilferty will soon be hosting a series of community forums to discuss the future of the Theodore Roosevelt Center and its place in the city and region. This planning effort responds to the North Dakota state legislature’s mandate, in Senate Bills 2018 and 2003, to construct a facility for the Theodore Roosevelt Center.

Hilferty & Associates has assembled a team of experienced professionals, including the firms of Economic Stewardship, Inc., and BVH Architects. The three firms have collaborated on the highly acclaimed Flint Hills Discovery Center in Kansas and the Sioux City Public Museum in Iowa. Hilferty produced the Master Interpretive Plan for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. Among the three firms they have worked on six presidential museums and memorial sites.

Hilferty is a unique and accomplished planning and design firm based in Athens, Ohio. Since 1971 they have brought well over 100 interpretive and visitor centers and museums to life, in fields as varied as technology, science, natural history, sports, cultural history, and Native American heritage. Each project is characterized by Hilferty's meticulous workmanship, vivid communication, and faithfulness to a shared client-designer vision. Richard Woollacott, vice president with Hilferty, will be the lead project manager for the planning process.

In addition to assisting with the community forums, Hilferty will conduct interviews with interested individuals and groups to explore possibilities for the expanded Theodore Roosevelt Center. These initial interviews will lead to a Vision/Mission workshop that will define the scope and direction for the Center. Economic Stewardship, Inc., will lead the research in projecting future audience numbers, will analyze and recommend potential funding sources, and will be instrumental in defining an operating budget to carry the Center forward. BVH Architects will explore potential sites for the Center. Working with Hilferty, they will define the scope and scale of the building and establish a capital budget for construction.

“The planning process, conducting interviews, gathering research, and leading workshops is an exciting time in every project,” said Woollacott. “This is when the story and the needs of the Center begin to emerge, and the design for the new facility develops. This is such an exciting opportunity for Dickinson State University, the City of Dickinson, and the Theodore Roosevelt Center.”

Since 2008, the Theodore Roosevelt Center at Dickinson State University has created the largest digital collection of Roosevelt documents and artifacts, with more than 20,000 items published to date at www.theodorerooseveltcenter.org. The legislature of the State of North Dakota has committed $12 million in funding for a new facility, provided $3 million is raised from non-state funds and provided state revenues continue to exceed projections by 3.5% through June 30, 2014.

”Since 2005, Dickinson State University has led an initiative with the mission ‘to raise the profile of Theodore Roosevelt and promote understanding of one of the most remarkable statesmen and intellectuals in American history.’ This is an audacious goal for our university befitting the legacy of the 26th President himself,” said DSU president D. C. Coston. “In expanding the mission of the Theodore Roosevelt Center, we intend to create something which will have national stature and of which the university, the city, and the state will be very proud.”