Squaw Valley ski museum project gaining momentum | SierraSun.com

Squaw Valley ski museum project gaining momentum

This represents one possible building concept for the Squaw Valley Olympic Museum & Winter Sports’ Heritage Center. It is not a final building design.

OLYMPIC VALLEY, Calif. — Since 2008, the Squaw Valley Ski Museum Foundation has been on a mission to construct a museum that captures the legacy of the 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley and the rich history of winter sports in the Northern Sierra Nevada.

With a display site application in the works, a new foundation president on board, and architects lined up to lead the design, the foundation is closer than ever before to bringing its vision into focus.

"We're excited about the fact that after seven years of work we are finally moving forward," Bill Clark, board member and previous president, said in a statement.

Clark was recently relieved by David C. Antonucci — co-founder of the Museum of Sierra Ski History and 1960 Winter Olympics, located in Tahoe City — who was elected board president in February.

"I have a strong personal interest in the history of the region, in particular our Olympic history," Antonucci said in a phone interview. "We have a long and very rich history of not just skiing, but winter sports at Lake Tahoe and in the Northern Sierra. And we're one of the few areas in the world that have hosted a winter Olympics.

"This needs to be organized and presented in an interesting way to the public."

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The proposed Squaw Valley Olympic Museum & Winter Sports' Heritage Center is being blueprinted for the southern corner of Squaw Valley Road, a site referred to as "Squaw Valley Park," Antonucci said.

Notably, the park is in proximity to the historic Olympic rings monument near the Highway 89 intersection.

In July 2015, the Placer County Board of Supervisors voted 3-1 for staff to develop a master plan to further assess the feasibility of locating the museum at Squaw Valley Park.

Since, Antonucci said the foundation board has selected architects Peter Pfau, of Pfau Long Architecture in San Francisco, and Larry Young, of Ward Young Architects in Truckee, to lead the design process. They will work with JKGD Architecture & Engineering, which is helming the site application process.

Antonucci said the foundation hopes to submit a land use application to Placer County within the next three months.

"Within a year we should be in front of the board of supervisors — if it goes that far — for the final authorization to use the park site," he added.

Squaw Valley Ski Museum Foundation plans to fund construction of the museum through private donations and grants, said Antonucci, adding that the project has an initial fundraising target of $250,000 in seed money.

The proposed museum will have roughly 16,000 square feet of usable space spread across two stories, which will be built into the downslope hillside of the park.

The estimated cost of construction will be in the $10-15 milllion range.

Antonucci said "if everything falls perfectly in line," construction of the museum would be completed in five to six years.

Learn more

According to the Squaw Valley Ski Museum Foundation, the new museum will be more than a collection of artifacts and stories — it will represent a cultural way of life centered on winter sports, and become a major asset to the North Lake Tahoe community.

The vision is to create a fully accredited, large-scale, year-round attraction with extensive history exhibits, interactive interpretative media, archives and research collections for visitors and the community to celebrate the region’s winter sports’ history.

It will exhibit the 150-plus-year history of winter sports in the Western United States, dating from the California Gold Rush era to establishing the first ski areas — from Yosemite to Mount Rose to Sugar Bowl to Squaw Valley, with others in between and since.

Visit olympicskimuseum.com to learn more.