SHERIDAN — The Brinton Museum near Big Horn received a conditional use permit from county commissioners Tuesday to build a 25,526-square-foot expansion into the hillside southeast of the current museum. It will be a three-story earth shelter structure that will offer additional gallery space, a bistro overlooking the Bighorn Mountains, a gift shop and office and event space.
The expansion will also include a 5,000-square-foot landscaped area to be used for outdoor events, construction of 38 new parking spaces and installation of a new water and wastewater system.
Private donations will help fund the multi-million dollar expansion and commissioners announced they will waive approximately $50,000 of building permit fees for the museum.
“We can see this as a major tourist attraction into the future,” Commissioner Terry Cram said. “When you have the big museum in Cody, this one will be on the map as a stopover on the way. We figured this is an economic development opportunity that we could help in a small way, really, when you consider the price of the project. It’s more of a token support to show that we are trying to help get this thing done down there.”
Tim Belton, architect for the project, said he hopes it will be one-half to two-thirds complete before winter sets in.