Lacombe & District Historical Society needs new digs.
While the organization is still very much in the research and planning phase of the project, Marie Pollock, executive director of Lacombe & District Historical Society, said that the group has begun fundraising to construct a new facility to act as its new base of operations.
Pollock said that while the Historical Society enjoys its current home in the Flatiron Building, the building is not suitable for all the society’s needs.
“It’s a great facility in that it’s an iconic historical building,” said Pollock. “We want to make sure we aren’t limiting ourselves.”
While the Flatiron Building is a great historical landmark, Pollock said that the building is not wheelchair accessible and has limited parking, putting restrictions on who can visit the museum. Space inside the building is an issue as well, as the Historical Society does not have sufficient shelving to house its archives.
She added that the current building has been a good location for a museum with rotating displays, but the Society would like a location where they can keep permanent displays as well.
“It’s a great facility but we are running out of space.”
Michener House, another of the museums Lacombe & District Historical Society operates, does have permanent displays but that museums’ purpose is only to tell the story of the Michener family and the house itself, said Pollock.
With the Historical Society operating year round now, it is not feasible to be staffing both the Flatiron Building and Michener House during the same time either, she added.
“We are just scattered all over the place.” She added the Flatiron Building is not owned by the Historical Society but by a private owner who rents the property out and this arrangement puts further financial strain on the Society.
Currently, the vision is for the Historical Society to enter into an agreement with the City and build a new facility next to Michener House, said Pollock. She also said that the new facility would attach to Michener House, making the house wheelchair accessible.
Again, Pollock reiterated that there are no definite plans for the new facility yet and the Historical Society has yet to formally approach either Lacombe County or City of Lacombe councils with the idea. Right now, the Society is raising funds in order to research the possibility of a new building and get a clearer picture of what the Society wants and needs.
She added that this is an important step as the Historical Society wants the new facility to last a long time. This means examining the current needs of the group as well as taking into account further growth.
“We really want to think long term,” said Pollock. “Our collection will continue to grow, there is no doubt about that.”