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Museum Plans Expansion At the Port of Dubuque

Katie Wiedemann

KCRG-TV9 News

November 29, 2005, 8:42:18 PM

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(Dubuque KCRG) -- Plans to expand the America's river project at the port of Dubuque are in the works. And since it's still unclear whether the indoor rain forest project will stay in Coralville... Museum operators say they're keeping their options open.

Teri Goodmann, Director of Development, at the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium, has a lot on her mind. She says she has discussed possible partnership plans with Iowa Environmental Project organizers, but she also has expansion plans of her own.

Goodmann said, "We will be building our own facility based on our mission and goals. We would not be interested in transplanting someone else's project in our community." Goodmann says whatever is built on the empty; 33 acre lot, next to the museum would not be as large as Coralville's rain forest plan.

Either way, visitors to the museum say they can't wait to see what changes are in store. Dubuque residents like Richard Pfhol said, "I think its great people who come to town to see the museum they'll continue on to whatever there is to see and they can stay the whole day." Others like Marcella Jewittt agree, Jewitt said, "We just like something new all the time you can never learn too much you're never too old to learn." Others like Dubuque native Nancy Pfhol are excited, Pfhol said, "It's beautiful, it's tropical and I think it would be neat, I'd like to see."

However, Goodmann says it's too early to start wishing and hoping but added the museum is always looking for strong partnerships. Goodmann said, "What we are talking about is if you have a good idea and we have a good idea, that's almost the same. Maybe there is some synergy there that could be good for Iowa and good for the nation."

Managers of other businesses within the Port of Dubuque, like the Grand Harbor Resort, which sits just down the road from the museum, said anything that draws more tourism to the river front is good for business.