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New Building

Project Overview

The new Bell Museum and Planetarium will enhance the state's reputation for innovative research, education, and public engagement. The visitor experience will focus on Minnesota's natural environments and our place in the Universe. The facility will showcase the research occurring at the University and promote opportunities for Minnesotans of all ages to participate in learning around science, technology, engineering, arts, and math.

Project Highlights

•  A new planetarium will strengthen Minnesota's statewide network of planetariums by creating and sharing new programs based on University research in astronomy and the life sciences.
•  Historic Jaques dioramas will be moved from the existing Bell Museum and reinstalled in the new museum. The Museum's art collections will continue to play a role in exhibits and interpretation.
•  The new building will include space for permanent and traveling exhibitions, as well as classrooms and an interactive Discovery Room.
•  Outdoor exhibit areas will provide opportunities to engage the public in environmental science research.


The intersection of Larpenteur Avenue West and Cleveland Avenue North, on the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota.

Project Architect


Exhibit Designer / Fabricator

Gallagher & Associates/ Design & Production

Planetarium Consultant

Evans & Sutherland

Construction Manager at Risk

McGough Construction Co., Inc.

Estimated Project Timeline

•  February 2015: Design begins

•  Summer 2016: Construction begins

•  Summer 2018: Construction complete




Advisory Board

Read a welcome greeting from the Chair and updates from the Board.

Board Members

Here are the community members who have stepped forward to guide the museum.

Board Vision

View the Advisory Board's short-term goals for the museum.

Be Involved 

This public museum needs your involvement and creativity.