10/27/12 — Public to see museum concept boards

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Public to see museum concept boards

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on October 27, 2012 11:30 PM

In a little more than three weeks, the consultant team hired by the city to put together a plan for an Air Force museum will present its findings to the Goldsboro City Council, meaning things are quickly coming together for the Air Force Museum Citizen Committee the council organized to steer the project.

The City Council will hear from consultants at its Nov. 19 meeting, but the committee discussed Thursday its plans to allow the public to view concept boards showing renderings and details about the proposed museum, presented as The Air Power Museum at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

The original concept boards underwent some adjustments during the meeting, along with the museum plan itself, which, after discussions with consultant Dan Murphy, will include emblems from each of the nation's military branches on the floor of the main plaza.

The committee felt the move would serve to give all veterans who enter the museum some ownership of it, even if they haven't served in the Air Force.

"It shows we're focusing on one aspect of a bigger story," Murphy said as he agreed to the addition.

Changes to the concept board included putting an asterisk beside the annual operating costs, presented as $735,000, to inform the public that those costs are subject to change.

Committee members have discussed since the numbers were released a reduction in that cost, particularly in personnel, which makes up about $390,000 of that total. Members said they hope some of those positions could be filled through volunteer efforts.

Assistant City Manager Tasha Logan added, however, that it was important to remember that the positions identified by the consultants would need to be filled to some level for the museum to operate as presented.

Fundraising has emerged as a popular topic during recent meetings of the committee, especially since cost estimates have been released over the past few months showing the museum would be a $6 million venture, not counting about $400,00 in repairs to the building and a predicted revenue shortfall of another $414,000, meaning that much would need to be raised through corporate and individual sponsorships each year.

The committee was asked by the fundraising consultant agency, Alexander Haas, to put together a list of about half a dozen entities to be contacted ahead of time about their sponsorship capabilities and to solicit support for the project.

The list put together included the Wayne County Commission, meaning, for the first time, the county's governing board will be formally contacted about involvement in the project.

Others included were the Wayne County Board of Education and a number of private firms with connections to military and veterans causes.

The committee is aiming to have the concept boards on display at the city's downtown complex and floated the idea of putting together public forums, which were scratched from the consultant plan due to time restraints.

The next meeting of the committee is tentatively scheduled for Nov. 1 at 2 p.m.