Board member said major donations needed to keep project going

Published: Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 05:06 PM.

Dave Brown, the museum board’s executive director, said that Phase I of the museum, a park and memorial symbols, will be built soon. Brown, a retired Marine lieutenant colonel, said the $8 million already raised is tied up in that portion of the project.

The museum board also has overhead that includes salaries and office space, according to tax returns.

If more money isn’t raised, the museum “will be dead in the water after Phase I is built,” Songer told the members of the city tourism authority.

The Museum of the Marine is a planned 40,000 square-foot building to be located in the Lejeune Memorial Gardens outside Camp Johnson in downtown Jacksonville. The museum will allow visitors to experience training, foreign cultures and battlefield conditions as Marines would in a simulated setting or through virtual reality programs.

The museum board decided to build the museum in phases with each new phase entirely dependent on fundraising.

The first phase, for which planning is 100 percent complete, is the creation of a symbolic park on the large open area in front of the future building. The park’s focal point will be an 11-foot bronze sculpture of an eagle, globe and anchor crafted by wildlife artist David Turner.

Parking lots and permanent walkways — bordered by more than 4,000 special donor bricks — will be constructed in phase one, according to information from the museum board.

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