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Baron Vista considered for future Theodore Roosevelt library

Press Photo by Nadya Faulx Dickinson City Planner Steve Josephson, left, reviews a map of the proposed Barons Vista development Wednesday with engineers Rob Andrew, of M.A.C. Corporation, and Steven Syrcle, of Tri-State Consulting Engineers Inc. Developers presented preliminary plans before the Planning and Zoning Commission for feedback before they submit a formal PUD request in the coming months.

Even before ground has broken on the Barons Vista lifestyle development, the site is already being considered as a top contender for the future Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library.

A master plan put together in June by museum design group Hilferty and Associates outlined 12 potential homes for the library, which will be an expansion of the current digital collection of Roosevelt artifacts housed in Dickinson State University’s Stoxen Library. Of those 12, the butte located in the future Barons Vista development was named the consultants’ third choice for the library.

“If you link that library to this property in any way, shape or form, that’s probably the biggest item here,” Planning and Zoning Commission Chairman Earl Abrahamson said at a meeting Wednesday. “There are other people fighting for this library.”

As developers of the Barons Vista presented their plans to the commission, Abrahamson said the library, if built there, will be the most significant part of the project, and future planning will have to take the facility into account.

“That quality of that particular library is going to reflect on us, every individual that lives here” he said. “We want to assure that that is a quality place when people come here, that that stands out. You don’t build a presidential library every day,” he said.

He noted that there are “other people fighting for this library,” but said he believes the site should be based on quality and accessibility.

Cathy Cronen, managing broker for Barons Vista, said she has been in talks with representatives at the Theodore Roosevelt Center at DSU.

“We want that on our site,” she said. “That’d be wonderful, I think, for us. I think it’d be wonderful for the state.”

She said the center still has the decision to make of where the library will be built, but in the meantime, “we’ll just stay in front of them.”