Legislature Approves Funding for Museum Projects

After the passage of the Capital Improvement Bill, AB 1, the East Ely Railroad Depot Museum was granted final approval for funding to renovate the historic Depot and Freight Building. Once complete, the Freight Building will have more space for exhibits, hosting of community events, and for collection and archive storage. It also includes a large foundation stabilization project for the Depot Building. The CIP bill passed by the Special Session of the Nevada State Legislature grants over $8.5 million dollars for the project.  

The plan for the museum’s improvements was developed using public input from local stakeholders. The remodel of the Freight Building will improve the space which has only been used during summer months into a community venue with interpretive exhibits and accessible historic archives. The remodeling will allow for year-round events, and educational programming, and support regional tourism activities. This project also creates appropriate archival storage for artifacts and historical documents.  

The bill also authorizes funding for a seismic retrofit of the Depot Building. Built in 1906, these improvements to the foundation will set the building for its next life.    

“This is exciting news for the museum and for the Ely community,” said Sean Pitts, director of the East Ely Depot Museum. “With these improvements to the freight building and the museum, we can expand programs for the public and have a space to share for everyone.” 

The project bid will be announced in 2024 with construction quickly afterward. It is expected to be completed in September 2025.  

This comes shortly after another large investment in White Pine County by the State. In January 2023, White Pine County received a grant from Travel Nevada as one cohort of three 3D Project awardees. The goals of the plan are for marketing the diverse year-round outdoor recreation opportunities, the collaboration of the county’s attractions, events, and quality-of-life assets, and development of the area as a basecamp for adventuring. Once the 10-year plan has been completed, each grantee will qualify for a share of a $2 million fund to jump-start their plans. 

Other projects in AB1 Bill include improvements to the other museums in the Nevada State Museum network to improve air systems to maintain archival documents and artifacts, and a $23 million dollar investment to expand the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Boulder City, building a modern Visitor Center and exhibit space. The Department of Cultural Affairs is receiving over $38 million for the projects. More details can be found here: