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Fort Campbell Museum Feeling the Squeeze of Tough Economy

An organization trying to raise money to build a new museum at Fort Campbell says it has scaled back plans for the project. Fort Campbell Historical Foundation Executive Director Robert Nichols told The Leaf Chronicle that changes in the design will cut the cost for the Wings of Liberty project in half.

Originally, the organization had planned a two-floor, 80,000-square-foot structure at a cost of about $40 million. New design plans call for a 60,000-square-foot, single-story facility at a cost of about $20 million.

Nichols said the changes were necessary because of economic conditions.

Everything is in place to move forward except the funding, Nichols said. But there’s a plan in place for that.

“During a recent board meeting, the strategy was put in place to open in three years, and to hopefully close the money gap in one year,” he said.

The money for the project must be in the bank before construction begins because it is being privately funded, Nichols said. “The decision was made by our CEO and the Board of Directors not to borrow for this project and to have the funds upfront sufficient for completion,” he said.

Much of the original layout for the facility was retained in the new plans, though one major change is that only one vintage aircraft, instead of nine, will be suspended from the ceiling. The project will include a battalion-sized parade field and a memorial area in addition to display cases.