ST. CLOUD (WJON News) -- The new leader of the Stearns History Museum in St. Cloud has been on the job for a few months now.

Executive Director Amy Degerstrom says as she plans for the future of the museum she wants to make sure it is accessible for everyone to learn about the county's history.

That includes access to our collections, but also access to schools and teachers and people who have different sensory needs that want to come visit the museum, speak different languages that all exist here in St. Cloud.  So we want to make sure that everybody finds themselves when they come visit.

Degerstrom says they have been out of room at their building for a long time now, so she expects sometime in the next five to 10 years they'll need to have a capital campaign to either expand the current building or find a different space.

The organization has existed for 75 years and they've been in their current location for 40 years.

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the building they have several 1980s-themed events planned throughout the year including a 1980s Car Show and Exhibit opening in May, an Open House in June, a Skate Night at the Skatin' Place in August, a 1980s concert with the St. Cloud Municipal Band in September, and a 1984 themed Escape Room in November.

The Stearns History Museum has 635 members.

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Last year 6,840 visitors came to the museum. They were averaging about 8,000 before COVID-19. This year, because of the 40th anniversary, they have free admission to all Stearns County residents which increased attendance to 1,500 people in January alone.

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