Iron Range agency extends funds for audit, limited operation at former Ironworld

The Mesabi Daily News is reporting (subscription link) that the Iron Range Resources Board has approved a $450,000 expenditure to the Minnesota Discovery Center, formerly Ironworld, “to pay some bills do an audit of the operation, heat the buildings, secure its historical documents and also to reopen the facility to those who want to use its vast collection of area research data.”

My take on the MDC/Ironworld situation was published in the Hibbing Daily Tribune yesterday.

This is about as good as the Minnesota Discovery Center can expect at this time. A much more difficult task remains in finding revenue to reopen a more streamlined facility for the next tourism season. That work continues.

UPDATE: A roundup from today’s Duluth News Tribune


  1. Thanks, Aaron, for letting your readers know. That’s great news. Better than nothing for sure! I was concerned for them and their collections…

  2. Nothing is ever really said about what happened. Money was spent on outrageous items ($10,000 on a computer display of puzzles and photos, $5,000 on a segway) and windows were replaced that leaked and blackened which only increased the enormous heat problems in the summer/fall months.
    The history showing the inability of direction through the board and management shouldn’t go unpunished. The entire board should be dismissed. They need to find someone who has actually run a non-profit (not someone who says she has, another story on the con artists that florish there)like a theatre, etc. Several major top positions were unnecessary and the split between staff on research vs. public venues was/is legendary.

  3. This is the first I heard about mismanagement, but then I have never been there. I have only written to them for historical research and found them very helpful. I am very sorry to hear that because I feel despite the mismanagement, the place and what it was SUPPOSED to be there for is a good and still is a good idea. I hope they get good people running it and can make a true go of it…Right now, it holds a critical historical document concerning my great grandfather that STILL have NOT seen and it may be the key to breaking my gridlock on finding out more about his family…

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