I am very happy to update you regarding progress toward the much-anticipated renovation of the National Agricultural Aviation Museum. While conversations have been on-going for several years and a renovation concept was developed approximately two years ago, final planning for the renovation process is now underway.
As you will recall, the Museum Committee of the National Agricultural Aviation Association agreed in February to support the proposal from the Board of Directors of the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum Foundation that the renovation be initiated this year. Previously approved funding was released to the Foundation by NAAA, and a proposal for additional funding was presented by the Museum Committee and approved by the NAAA Budget and Finance Committee. Pledges were also received from Museum Committee members to promote the funding of the renovation to their state associations and industry contacts.
In light of these commitments from NAAA, the Foundation has engaged architectural and engineering firm Cooke Douglas Farr Lemons to develop necessary design details and to oversee the renovation. Architect Chris Myers will supervise the project and he will be assisted by Mississippi State University student intern Kelly Weiland. The renovation will be accomplished in two phases, the first focusing on basic design features, with the second addressing artifact display and interactive aspects. Cooke Douglas Farr Lemons was instrumental in the design and development of the original museum, and their commitment to this project makes them an ideal selection.
Phase one buildout is expected to be completed before Fall 2018, and phase two planning will be in process during this time. The phase two buildout will be initiated upon the determination that sufficient financial resources are available to ensure its proper completion. During any necessary intermission between the phases, the exhibit area will be available to visitors to the greatest extent possible.
Changes may not jump off of the page, but they include carpet details, such as a fade from visitor areas to exhibit areas, changes to the entrance design, and other specifics necessary for us to actually begin the renovation. You may be relieved to know that what appears to be beer kegs in groups of three are actually intended to be metal drums which can be labeled to recognize donors or used to mount information about the nearby artifacts.
All of the contributions which we have received are greatly appreciated and they will be carefully applied to the National Agricultural Aviation Museum renovation. The full potential of the renovation will not be recognized, however, without continued individual, association, and industry support. I look forward to seeing the results of the ag aviation community’s continuing promotion of this important project.