11/25/12 — Final Air Force Museum presentations made

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Final Air Force Museum presentations made

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on November 25, 2012 1:50 AM

This week saw the culmination of months of work by Goldsboro's Air Force Museum Citizen Committee and the consultant team hired to prepare a feasibility report for the proposed facitily, to be housed at the corner of East Ash and Spence streets.

Consultants from Verner Johnson were in town Monday and Tuesday for presentations to the Goldsboro City Council, the committee and the public.

An executive summary, spelling out the plans for the museum, was distributed to the council members Monday. However, a final report -- one detailing fundraising possibilities -- will likely be presented at the council's mid-February retreat as fundfaising consultant Clayton Bass of Alexander-Haas was not at the meeting Monday, despite that being the focus of many of the museum committee's questions with the projected operating budget calling for annual collections of $335,000 to support yearly expenditures in the amount of $642,000.

The ConsultEcon consultant, Bob Brais, addressed questions about fundraising, although he told committee members at one point that it was "not his field."

He said following the meeting that Bass' interactions with the project had been shallow, as his hours were limited. The fundraising counsel portion of the project cost an additional $5,000. The Alexander-Haas fundraising projections will be available in February after Bass has had time to consult with possible donors in the area.

Members of the City Council didn't discuss the plans outside of Mayor Pro Tem Chuck Allen thanking the consultants and committee members for their hard work.

There was little discussion at the Tuesday public forum, either, as only three members of the public turned out.

Most were happy with the renderings and plans, although the cost associated with the project was voiced as a concern.

Asbestos abatement, renovations and repairs to the building, including the installation of a new roof, are projected to cost $410,000, plus an additional $2.5 million for museum construction. Exhibits are projected to cost $3.5 million and the management of fundraising efforts was projected to cost between 10 and 15 percent of the project's capital budget, meaning the project would cost about $7 million, plus its operating expenses which assume the museum will attract 29,000 visitors annually.

Renderings, presentations and cost projections are available at the city's website. Just click the "Air Force Museum" tab from the main page.