FARMINGTON — Plans to construct a new wing for the Farmington Museum at Gateway Park are nearing completion. Residents can expect the wing and the planned energy exhibit to open sometime next summer, according to plans presented to City Council Tuesday evening by the architectural firm Conron and Woods.
“I like the symmetry in this project,” said Mayor Tommy Roberts. “I think this looks like a great enhancement.” 
The new wing is the first of two planned additions to provide more space and allow greater flexibility for traveling and new exhibits.
The central feature of the first wing will be an energy exhibit highlighting the history of the oil, gas and energy industry in the San Juan Basin, said Jeff Bowman, director of
Parks, Recreation and
Cultural Affairs.
City staff are working with the architectural firm on the building design to ensure the space meets the energy exhibit's needs, Bowman said.
About $1.02 million has been raised for the exhibit so far, museum Director Bart Wilsey said.
“We've been working on this project for a long time,” he said. “We went through the planning process several years ago. We couldn't be happier with the design.”
The new wing also will provide climate control for collection storage, a resource not yet available to the museum, Bowman said.
Climate control will allow the museum to store art pieces and artifacts at specific temperature and humidity levels so they do not deteriorate. The climate control technology and extra space will allow the museum to attract a greater number and variety of exhibits, Bowman said.
“We want people to come back and see something new,” he said.
The project is on schedule and is expected to go out to bid as soon as next week. After a bid is selected, the project will come back to City Council for approval. Conron and Woods expects construction to take about seven months and the new wing to open in Summer 2013. 
“It's a good opportunity, a good addition,” said Rick Sarver, president of the executive board for the Farmington Museum Foundation.