The Notebook got the “nickel tour” (hard hat included) of the new addition to The Brinton Museum in Big Horn Tuesday.
Thanks to museum curators Kenneth Schuster and Barbara Schuster and Sheridan architect Tim Belton who is designing the stunning, $16.4 million project. The milder winter days of late will keep construction of the new museum and gallery on track for a Memorial Day 2015 opening. It is scheduled to be completed December, 2014. No doubt the new addition will draw visitors from all over the U.S. and abroad when done.
They’re busy people: the Schusters are transitioning from one Brinton show, the “6×6” exhibit, to their holiday season show that opens Dec. 1. More importantly, they’ve got a son, Andrew Schuster, who is a senior lineman on the Big Horn Rams. Big Horn faces Mountain View Friday in the state 2A football championship game at War Memorial Stadium in Laramie. Architect Belton busily — and deftly — explained some of the maneuvers of the construction site, some of the building’s features, while fielding telephone calls. Workers were getting ready for the next big concrete pour; it was scheduled yesterday.
“We hope to keep the construction moving forward through the winter,” Barbara Schuster told me. “It’s an amazing and complex project, given the mechanical systems involved regarding humidity and temperature control for the art that will be on display and for the art that will be stored.”
One feature is a large rammed earth wall that provides structure and will be a compelling visual element as well. When completed, it will be the largest rammed earth wall in North America. When the museum addition is complete, it will offer more space for more art to be displayed. The current gallery will become an education center. Bradford Brinton’s home and grounds will also add to the experience.
What will be new, too, is a rooftop bistro. These days when you climb to the top of the hill and look down upon the construction, one is actually standing at about the same level as the forthcoming bistro.
“We get a lot of bus tours through here and there’s always a question about ‘where do we go eat?’” Barbara says. The rooftop will offer light lunches, refreshments and most of all, memorable western and southern views of the Bighorns and its wildlife.
The museum is getting ready for its annual holiday show that will feature the art of Tony Hochstetler, Allan Mardon, Joel Ostlind.
The Sheridan Press will send sports editor Brad Estes and photojournalist Justin Sheely to Laramie for the state championship football game between Big Horn and Mountain View. Look for the coverage online as it occurs — theshersidapress.com — and in our web site’s photo galleries. And in Saturday’s print edition as well.
Go Big Horn!