Primary goals of the project include building a dedicated children’s gallery for hands-on, year-round learning and play; expanding the primary gallery to feature more-robust touring exhibits as well as local artists and historic collections; renovating the outdoor courtyard including the construction of a new stage; and increasing office and support spaces.
The campaign will kick off with a groundbreaking ceremony from 10 to 11 a.m. Sept. 15 in the museum’s outdoor courtyard at 400 Quail Road in Longmont. The free event will include renderings, project details and remarks from Mayor Joan Peck and museum director Erik Mason, as well as from supporters of the campaign. Light refreshments will be served, and no RSVP is needed to attend.
The campaign’s launch follows several years of program growth, evaluation and community conversations about needs and priorities for the cultural facility.
“The expansion is about more than bricks and mortar,” Mason said in a prepared statement. “It’s about making the museum more responsive to our community.”
Fundraising for the expansion is already off to a strong start with a $5 million pledge from the Stewart Family Foundation, $1 million of which has already been donated. During her lifetime, local business leader and longtime museum benefactor Lila Jean Stewart was also instrumental in the construction of the museum’s 250-seat Stewart Auditorium. After her death in 2018, the Stewart Family Foundation continues to honor the priorities of Lila, as well as her husband Bill and daughter Linda.
Lila and Bill Stewart, 2014 inductees into the Boulder County Business Hall of Fame, owned KLMO-AM and FM from 1959 to 2000.
“We are humbled to see Lila’s commitment to the Museum continue through this donation,” Mason said. “Her memory will very much live on through the expanded programs and exhibitions we will be able to present to the community thanks to her gift. Our many additional generous supporters will be instrumental in helping us raise the remaining funds to make an expanded Longmont Museum a reality. We are excited to share opportunities for naming rights, planned giving and more with both individuals and businesses.”
Permitting for the initial phases of the expansion is currently underway, and the first big changes will begin to be visible in the museum’s courtyard starting this winter. The full expansion is expected to be complete by early 2026.