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Rockpile Museum will discuss budget with commissioners on March 21

County 17 reviews the requests, revenue, attendance and upcoming events the museum has announced.

The sign for the Rockpile Museum on U.S. 14 -16. (Ryan Lewallen/County 17)

GILLETTE, Wyo. — Campbell County Rockpile Museum’s board’s 2023-2024 budgetary requests include a truck, a printer and an architectural contract.

It will meet with Campbell County commissioners at 6 p.m. March 21 to discuss the museum’s fiscal year 2023-2024 budget and a mobile homestead shack trailer.

According to the museum board’s Feb. 21 meeting packet, museum staff wants to replace a 2015 Chevy Tahoe that it received from the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office about a year ago. While the vehicle can be driven longer, it has some issues and isn’t in the greatest condition. Staff needs a 3- or 4-ton heavy truck that can pull trailers and has a topper. The Rockpile Museum and Rockpile Museum Association are working on a mobile homestead shack exhibit that Campbell County High School industrial arts classes will construct and donate in the fall. The association bought a trailer with two 7,000-pound axles, and the museum requires a truck that can pull the exhibit to events around the state. The topper’s necessary so the museum can move collections objects around safely and minimize exposure to the weather.

The museum’s also requesting $45,000 to hire an architect for initial work for a new museum structure. Museum Director Robert Henning has previously said space is limited at Rockpile Museum’s current facility, which is at 900 W. Second St., Gillette.

“Having a drawing or rendering of a new museum building will allow the Museum Board to assist the Rockpile Museum Association in fundraising for a new museum building and will help create a vision for what could be in the future,” the document said. “A drawing can help create excitement about the possibilities and allow visual learners to engage with something other than verbal or written justifications for a new museum.”

The museum also said it needs to replace a 2010 laser printer with a $1,099.99 Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5880 wireless color all-in-one supertank printer that has a scanner, copier, fax, ethernet and PCL/PostScript.

“This Epson printer will help us print photos, exhibit graphics, and other creative materials and have them look a lot nicer than a laser printer could provide,” the museum’s request document said.

Revenue was $22,528.47 from July 2021 to January 2022 and $18,882.65 from July 2022 to January 2023. Museum attendance was 10,060 in 2021 and 9,944 in 2022, the museum reported in February. While the museum saw 1,430 fewer visitors and 83 fewer tour guests in 2022 compared with 2021, there were 253 more school tour guests, 315 more programs participants and 829 more individuals who visited through outreach.

The museum announced March 2 that people who receive food assistance or are in the WIC program can visit the Rockpile Museum for free, as First Interstate Bank of Wyoming has sponsored their admission fees for 2023. Henning said at the February museum board meeting that he was pleasantly surprised that 348 people, an “uncommonly high” number for a winter event, attended the mini old-fashioned school carnival Feb. 11. He said he anticipates the museum will hold a similar event in the future, when the weather’s nicer.

After meeting with commissioners, the board will have its regular monthly meeting, which will include reports on education, visits, collections and exhibits and updates regarding the new museum, according to the regular meeting’s agenda.

The board’s next regular meeting will be at 6 p.m. April 18. The next quarterly meeting will take place at 6 p.m. June 20.

Other upcoming events include the following:

  • 4:30 to 5 p.m. March 31 Rockpile Museum Association Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting at CAM-PLEX Central Pavilion
  • 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 1 Rockpile Museum Association Ultimate Garage Sale and Flea Market at CAM-PLEX Central Pavilion
  • 5:30 p.m. April 29 Rockpile Museum Association Dance through the Decades fundraiser at the Campbell County Seniors Center
  • May 5-6 Second Annual Powder River Basin Sheepherders Festival

The museum’s seeking volunteers for its March 28 to 30 World War II Days program for students. For more information, call the museum at 307-682-5723.


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