BISMARCK — The group behind the proposed Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum has hired North Dakota-based architecture and construction firms to assist with the project planned for Medora.
The library foundation announced Tuesday, Dec. 8, it has selected JLG Architects to be the project's architect of record and JE Dunn to serve as construction manager. JLG was founded in Grand Forks and now has offices in North Dakota, Minnesota and South Dakota, while JE Dunn, headquartered in Kansas City, has a large footprint across the country, including offices in Dickinson and Williston, N.D. Contract negotiations with both companies are underway, according to a news release.
In September, the foundation picked Norwegian-American architecture firm Snøhetta to design the high-profile project. However, library CEO Ed O'Keefe said "it’s important to have a North Dakota firm take the lead" — that's where JLG comes in. The company's "critical role" will involve holding all of the contracts for Snøhetta and its subcontractors while working with JE Dunn to "realize the vision of the project," O'Keefe said.
“This is a North Dakota initiative bringing North Dakota jobs,” said Ken Vein, the library's director of design and construction. “The Architect of Record and Construction Manager are just the start of what will be a multi-year, multi-million-dollar investment in North Dakota.”
The foundation also announced Tuesday it is adding new offices in Bismarck and Medora, as well as two new full-time staffers in the state. Tony Erickson, of Grand Forks, will serve as the associate director of design and construction, and Amy McCann, of Medora, joins as the administrative director of design and construction, according to the release.
The project has picked up steam in the last six months, culminating in October when the foundation announced it had reached a goal of raising $100 million in private donations, including $50 million from Rob and Melani Walton of the Walmart fortune. The milestone came with the promise of public funding as the foundation unlocked an endowment that Gov. Doug Burgum and the state Legislature approved last year.
As part of the deal to receive public money, the foundation will pay $300,000 to the city of Dickinson as reimbursement for planning on the library that was previously slated for the city. The foundation announced it will also set aside $10 million by the end of 2021 to be given to Dickinson State University to establish a digital archive of Roosevelt-related documents.
The proposed library is meant to honor and recount the complex story of Theodore Roosevelt, the one-time governor of New York who became the 26th president of the United States. As a young man, Roosevelt spent parts of three years hunting and ranching in present-day western North Dakota before his career in national politics took off.
O'Keefe said the foundation hopes to have the library open to the public by 2024 or 2025.
Contact Jeremy Turley at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @jeremyjturley.