Up & Coming Weekly

April 23, 2019

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 9 of 36

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM APRIL 24-30, 2019 UCW 9 Local supporters of the proposed North Carolina Civil War and Recon- struction History Center seem confi- dent that the legislature will commit to significant funding this summer. Rep. John Szoka, R-Cumberland, filed a bill early this month that would provide $55 million in state funds for the project. Szoka is a senior House Finance Com- mittee co-chairman. His bill would dedi- cate $10 million for the History Center in the 2019-20 fiscal year and $45 million in the following fiscal year. "We've done the planning, we now need construction funds," said Mac Healy, president of the History Center board of directors. Healy said the longer the project is delayed, the more it will cost. e origi- nal estimate was $65 million. Szoka's bill estimates the current cost of the complex and a statewide digital educa- tion network at $80 million. e public education network is a significant element of the expense, said Healy. So far, approximately $27 million has been raised or pledged, including $15 million in city and county govern- ment commitments. Szoka asked that a companion bill not be filed in the Senate and that he be allowed to steer his measure through the house. Sen. Kirk deViere, D-Cumberland, confirmed if passed in the House, the Senate would take up the measure. "ere is a lot of activity between House, Senate and Gov. Cooper before we get to a signed and approved bud- get," deViere said. Officials stress that the history center will not be a museum with military artifacts. Instead, it will tell the story of North Carolinians during the last half of the 19th century, including soldiers and civilians, their families, enslaved Americans, black soldiers and whites who fought on both sides of the War Between the States. e History Center would be the first in the nation to focus on the impact of the Civil War and its aftermath on a state's people. A comprehensive plan developed eight years ago resulted in a concentrated effort to transform the state-supported Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex into the His- tory Center. e facility will be built on the site of the historic federal arsenal in Haymount, which was captured by the Confederacy soon after the war broke out. e four-acre site at the end of My- rover Street will include a 60,000-square- foot visitor's center. It will protect the remnants of the fortress leveled by Union forces during William T. Sherman's re- turn march from Atlanta at the end of the war. e existing 1896 E.A. Poe House and three Civil War-era houses will be incorporated into the plan. is project offers North Carolinians historic information and context for it. e History Center is designed to be a school of sorts rather than a collecting museum. It will display only those arti- facts that advance its mission of telling the story of the Civil War and Recon- struction in North Carolina. From the beginning, the History Cen- ter's planners understood that students from across the state would benefit from the use of technology. So, they created one of the nation's first digital master plans to make this resource ac- cessible to all. N.C. Civil War and Reconstruction History Center update by JEFF THOMPSON NEWS e History Center would be the first in the nation to focus on the impact of the war and its aftermath on a state's people. Go Online 484-6200 www.uandcomingweekly.com Flip our pages for news, views, art and entertainment! Call and ask one of our marketing representatives to help you grown your business.

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