This article was originally published in the Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan

Progress on the expansion and renovation of the National Music Museum (NMM) in Vermillion has remained steady in spite of the challenges presented due to the recent pandemic.

Barring any unforeseen delays, work is expected to be complete in late July.

“Our general contractor, Journey Construction, has been able to follow the social distancing guidelines and continue work, while keeping USD and NMM well informed,” says Matt Collinsworth, Director of the National Music Museum. “However, we recognize that the pandemic could result in changes to guidelines and schedules as we move forward. We are fully confident that our partners will work with us to achieve the best results possible in the most responsible manner.”

In addition to approximately 4,600 square feet of much needed new exhibit space, the project will add a special gallery for temporary exhibits, a new performance hall, a dedicated classroom, a new conservation lab, a new photography lab, and new administrative offices to the National Music Museum’s home in the Carnegie building on the campus of the University of South Dakota.

Once construction is complete, work will continue on re-imagining the new permanent exhibitions that will fill more than 12,000 square feet in the museum’s renovated galleries. When the NMM fully reopens in 2022, guests can look forward to an enhanced museum experience featuring interactive exhibits and opportunities to explore the varied disciplines required to create and play musical instruments around the world.

Earlier this year, Luci Creative (Chicago) was selected as our exhibition design partner. It was with great excitement that the NMM staff began working with Luci in March, focusing first on the conceptual design phase of the project, which will continue through the summer.

“NMM’s exhibition design, fabrication and installation is a major museum project that will set a standard in our field,” said Collinsworth. “Both our staff and trustees agreed that Luci is the perfect partner to help us realize our vision. The next several months are going be very exciting.”