State reassessing former mall site for museum

HELENA (AP) — The state is reassessing the possibility of building a new history museum at the site of the now demolished Capital Hill Mall in Helena.
The Montana Legislature passed a bill to increase a lodging tax to raise money for a larger museum to help display more of the state’s collection. The Independent Record reports other legislation requires the state to reconsider the mall site.
In 2007, consultants and the state architect recommended the state remodel and expand the current museum near the Capitol building. Historical Society Director Bruce Whittenberg says that site remains the priority.
A fundraising group headed by former First Lady Betty Babcock favored the mall site, but its cost in 2007 was significantly higher.
Department of Administration spokeswoman Amber Conger says the agency is reevaluting the mall site and has contacted the developer about availability.