Twentynine Palms Historical Society
29 Palms, California

Museum Expansion Plan

Ground breaking ceremony
Twentynine Palms Historical Society founding member Cheryl Erickson, left, joins President Les Snodgrass, founding member Bob Carter and Twentynine Palms Mayor McArthur Wright in turning the first shovels full of dirt during the organization's groundbreaking ceremony for its new 2,222-square-foot multipurpose room Friday afternoon, April 6, 2018. The event on the grounds of the Old Schoolhouse Museum drew about 50 people. (Historical society photo by Kelly O'Sullivan)

When the Old schoolhouse was moved to its current location, it was 2,344 square feet in size. In order to make the building suitable for occupancy, it was necessary to add on 304 square feet for restrooms and utility spaces. Thus, we started with the original (1927) school room, the first (1931) addition which now serves as our current exhibit hall, and the second (1939-40) addition which houses our docent desk and gift shop.

It quickly became apparent that more space was needed and a two-phase expansion program was instituted. Through the generous donations of our members, we were able to complete phase one in May 2006 at a cost of $145,000. This provided us with an additional 1,640 square feet: 800 for a library and meeting room, 480 for an office and work room, and 360 for a climate controlled archival storage area. The climate controlled archival storage area now contains all artifacts not on display, Desert Trail newspapers, paintings, clothing, maps, certain fragile and non-replaceable photographs and books.

Currently the original schoolroom is used for lectures and assemblies. This necessitates moving aside the antique school desks and other display items which, no matter how careful we are, causes damage to these precious artifacts. Further, the schoolroom is only rated at a maximum occupancy of 45 persons, not nearly enough.

Construction begins.
Historical Society President Les Snodgrass and Scott Clark of Clark Construction Co. and Desert Dirt Works begin excavating the ground where the organization's multipurpose building will be built. The pair started the dig at 7 a.m. Sunday, April 8, 2018. (Historical society photo by Kelly O'Sullivan)

Phase II is a 2,222 square foot building that will provide two critically needed facilities, a 1,500 square foot multipurpose room and a warming kitchen.

The multipurpose room is planned to be 1,500 square feet and will accommodate approximately 200 people in an auditorium configuration or 100 people in a conference room configuration. The restrooms, catering kitchen, storage room, pantry, and associated halls will take up the remaining 722 square feet of space.

Also included in the project is a courtyard that will be formed by the back wall of the Old Schoolhouse, the east wall of the library, the north wall of the new addition, and a newly built wall and gate.

The plans are now complete and we have all the required permits. We broke ground on Friday, April 6, 2018 and began construction on April 8th by digging the required retention basin and preparing the building pad.

We currently have a little over $140,000 in our expansion fund. Those funds were donated for the express purpose of building the new wing. Unfortunately that isn't enough to complete the project.

We are seeking additional donations/grants while construction progresses. We plan to use volunteer labor for everything we can and hope to get some of the materials through donation.

When completed we will no longer have to totally rearrange the Old Schoolroom in order to have lectures, the Old Timers Gathering, annual meetings, the Weed Show, and other events. This expansion will give us valuable meeting space that we plan to make available for use by other nonprofit organizations and events.

Additionally, it will provide us with exhibit space for many of the artifacts currently in storage.

We urgently need your donations to put together enough funding to complete Phase II!

If you can help in any way—providing labor, skills, material, or cash—we would be most appreciative.

Members (or non-members) who wish to provide this much needed support should contact us at:
Dump Truck Dump Truck 29 Palms Historical Society
6760 National Park Drive
Twentynine Palms, CA 92277

Phone: 760-367-2366

Expansion Plan

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