Restoration work of the Crow Wing County Historical Society Museum and Research Library in Brainerd, which began this month, is expected to be completed by December.

The museum and library housed in the former Crow Wing County Jail and sheriff's residence is steeped in history, but the building has seen better days. A project seeking much-needed repairs was awarded a $224,557 grant in December from the Minnesota Historical Society.

The three-story building adjacent to the Crow Wing County Historic Courthouse is owned and maintained by the county, which entered into a work agreement with contractor Baratto Brothers Construction Inc. in Crosslake.

Exterior work will include repairs to the roof, concrete and mortar repairs to the steps and brick, and fixing the drainage system. Windows will be replaced with double-hung windows to bring back the original look of the building.

Interior work will consist of updating building code compliance and Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility, and renovating three bathrooms and an attic walkway. The largest part of work inside will be upgrading the existing heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system.

In January, a capital improvement budget amendment was approved by the county board for a total project cost of $416,592 to make necessary structural repairs to the historical building with "substantial completion" of the work done by Nov. 16.

The remaining cost will be matched from the county's capital improvement fund, which is funded by levy, county program aid, lease payments and tax-forfeited settlement dollars.

The museum and library is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was housed in the courthouse basement in 1933 before relocating to its current site at 320 Laurel St. in 1983.