U breaks ground on new museum

By By Michael McFall

By Michael McFall

With copper shovels in hand, powerful figures such as Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., Spencer Eccles and U President Michael Young broke ground on the new Utah Museum of Natural History this morning.

The ceremony commenced shortly after an announcement by Young that the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation have promised a $5 million donation towards the museum. The foundation will not donate the $5 million until the museum raises the additional raise $17 million it needs to pay for the project, The donation is on top of the $10 million the foundation donated eight years ago, when the project was being developed.

Spencer Eccles said they agreed last Thursday to make the donation with the hope that it would create a drive to complete the last leg of fundraising.

“I hope this promise will serve as a catalyst?and a capstone,” he said.

The museum has raised $81 million so far, which is enough to begin construction, said Sarah George, executive director of the museum.

Construction will begin August 2 at the new site near Red Butte Gardens.

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