In 2003 the Museum completed a $5.5 million expansion, including a 22,500 square foot wing that includes the Museum Store, Grand Lobby, and permanent exhibits. At the time of this expansion, the Museum changed to its present name to reflect its mission to represent the history of the entire region.
As part of the 2003 expansion, the Museum installed the first two sections of the Rio Grande Legacy. This permanent exhibit sequence, with bilingual text and state of the art displays, takes visitors on a journey through the prehistory and history of the region. The first section, River Frontier, illustrates the geological origins of the area, its ancient animals and plants, its native peoples and their encounters with Europeans and the establishment of the region as a frontier of New Spain.
The Museum continues its growth with the current development of River Crossroads, the third and final portion of Rio Grande Legacy. River Crossroads will introduce visitors to the rapid and astounding changes brought to the region during the twentieth century. In this and other endeavors, such as preservation of the Old Jail, supporters and FRIENDS enable the Museum to continue its mission of presenting the unique heritage of the region.