American Wartime Museum Given the Green Light
Prince William County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously in a public hearing tonight for a map amendment.
At tonight's Prince William County Board of Supervisors meeting, the board unanimously voted to approve the map amendment in order for the American Wartime Museum in Dale City, VA to move forward.
Craig Stewart, President and CEO of the National Museum of Americans in Wartime -- also known as the American Wartime Museum -- said that the next step is focused on raising money to open the museum.
"There are two rails of development," said Stewart. "We have to work on the development, obviously, and that means finding the architecture, design, landscape and creative story teams."
According to Stewart, the second rail of development is one of fundraising in order to meet the time line parameters outlined for the museum; the facility is slated to open on Veterans Day Nov. 11, 2014.
"We have to raise a lot of money," said Stewart. "In addition to figuring out how and in what ways we will tell creative stories, we need to raise the money."
While this issue is physically rooted in the Dale City community, it is emotionally rooted in the hearts of Woodbridge and Prince William County residents.
During the public hearing supporters and residents with concerns turned out in great numbers to voice their opinions on the greatly debated museum. The public hearing was open to citizens until 10 p.m. this evening.
Kathy Bentz, a supporter of the museum, is a neighbor to the restoration area associated with the American Wartime Museum.
"This would be an incredible asset to the community," said Bentz. "People talk about noise, and I would be the first to know about noise. I live across from the restoration area and other than once a year I rarely hear from them."
Bentz suggested appropriate buffers around the American Wartime Museum to accommodate for the noise issues that residents are concerned about.
One resident pulled out a physical tape measure to signify a 50-feet buffer to show just "how far" the buffer would be from his house. The tape measure extended from the front of the board's chamber to outside the chamber doors.
Rebecca Barnes, a Prince William County resident whose parents still reside in Dale City, suggested to the board during the public hearing that this museum is not news to her.
Barnes said that people who say that this museum is new perhaps have not been paying attention while also proposing the museum do a little bit more work to involve its surrounding community.
MIDCO President Martin Jeter was the last to speak at tonight's public hearing, and he asked the board – among with many other citizens – to defer the vote until further work is done with the neighboring communities.
Jeter reaffirmed the request for an archaeological study at the site of the American Wartime Museum.