You may remember this....
We broke ground in April 2009 for a new paleontology building to house the collections, labs and offices of the Museum of Geology. For the next 16 months, we watched the hole being dug and then the building rising. We wore hard hats and slogged through the ice and mud to visit as it went up. We looked at it, and at our collections, and wondered if it would ever really be open. In June of this year, we started moving collections in.
On Wednesday, it became official. We cut the ribbon and dedicated the new Paleontology Research Center.
180 people crammed onto the plaza in front of the building, where we had seating for 75. (We TOLD them that there were a lot of people who had waited a long time for this....) The weather was perfect. The speeches were heartfelt. And the long, long journey to opening day was capped with a wonderful show.
Of course, now the real work begins, as we continue to move the collections as we develop new programs to take advantage of this rare opportunity. There is much to do. Today, however, we savor Wednesday's moments.
A good omen: a little Myotis bat joins the celebration.
Jim Martin: big guy, big scissors.
The Hoplophoneus skull plaque for the governor, prepared at the last minute. Beautifully.
Hard hats in April 2009...
...scissors in September 2010.
The poster for the event.
The crowd starts gathering.
The dignitaries' chairs....
...and the dignitaries.
President Wharton speaks.
Jim Martin speaks and almost chokes up. He has worked tirelessly for this for 30 years.
Governor Mike Rounds speaks.
Presentation of the plaque. Bet he doesn't have another one like this.
MIchael Catches Enemy speaks eloquently on behalf of the Oglala Lakota.
...and the ribbon is cut.
Stay tuned for interior shots....