Historical society paying Boston firm $30,000 to draft history campus plan

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Shelly Birkelo
Wednesday, March 5, 2014

JANESVILLE—The Rock County Historical Society will pay $30,000 to a Boston museum-planning firm to help guide development of a history campus.

“The ultimate goal is to make this a destination for people who live here ... but also to generate tourism dollars and to be an active partner in the economic community,” said Michael Reuter, historical society executive director.

The plan will complement the 2010 Tallman Business Plan, using the Legacy and Vision Plan as a baseline, he said.

An kick-off meeting is planned for Wednesday and Thursday, March 26-27, and the plan will be done by the end of the year, Reuter said.

Experience Design of Boston will be paid between $30,000 and $35,000 to help develop the plan.

“They can bring an expertise and experience that, very honestly, we don't have,” Reuter said.

The money will come from historical society supporter contributions, he said.

The firm will determine a timeline, but the historical society will decide how much money it will need to execute each phase and each component of the plan.

The plan will include architectural renderings for proposed changes to the site and a schematic plan outlining steps to the historical society's goals.

Experience Design will help bring to life the idea of an interconnected, educational and immersive history campus for Janesville and Rock County, Reuter said.

Planners will look at paths, signs, exterior lighting and a market analysis to link the historic buildings to create one, cohesive campus, he said.

“We are excited about linking our ongoing capital and programmatic projects for the campus with some of the best minds in the museum community on how to create a fun, educational and interactive visitor experience,” Reuter said.

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