By Thomas Nelson
WATERLOO, Iowa – The National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum is getting a $1.4 million renovation.
The museum’s been a staple of Waterloo since it moved here from Newton, Iowa, in 2007. This is the museum’s first renovation since coming to the Cedar Valley.
“We are viewing our future through the lens of diversity,” said Kyle Klingman, museum director. “I think that’s an important part of what we do here. We can no longer be just a museum. We need to be more than a museum.”
Over the years the museum has expanded in what it does, acting as a learning and training center.
“We have things we can offer beyond just a museum,” Klingman said. “We had to evolve with the times.”
The renovations will expand the museum’s wrestling room and add new technology.
The wrestling room will be a multi-use space and is the size of two and half wrestling mats, Klingman said. “It’s a pretty good-sized wrestling room.”
“We saw that we needed more space for the wrestling room,” he said. “We have a lot of flexibility of what we can do in this museum.”
The renovation also will add four kiosks for museum visitors to use.
“That gives us the latitude to save on space,” Klingman said. “If you have 130 hall of famers, which we do, now we can just condense (them) into one monitor.”
The renovation allows the museum to add more, and save space through technology.
The $1.4 million came from grants, fundraising and private donors.
“We’ve been fortunate with a lot of local grants willing to step up,” Klingman said. “Because we’re a national sport, we were able to get donors from across the nation that believed in the product.”