Crews with 1220 Exhibits out of Nashville, Tennessee, are installing the final exhibits at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Museum, and doors should be open to the public some time in late July.
“The artifacts are going into the cases,” said Eisenhower Presidential Library Director Dawn Hammatt. “The final graphic pieces are going up.”
Work on the $11.7 million renovation started a year ago this past May.
The work encompasses the museum’s entire 25,000- square-foot exhibit space. Funding was raised by donations to the Eisenhower Foundation.
Plans were to open the newly renovated museum June 6 for the 75th anniversary of D-Day, but a 35-day shutdown by the federal government delayed the reopening.
Hammatt said the biggest struggle was getting back to work after the shutdown.
“And trying desperately to make up that time and finally realizing that it can’t be done has been our internal struggle,” she said. “None of us wanted to get to the point where we had to say, ‘We can’t make up that lost time.’ We tried. We tried so hard.”
The shutdown was five weeks long but the federal employees lost time working on the museum renovation preparing for the shutdown and then reopening.
While the museum was only about 75 percent complete on June 6, World War II veterans invited to participate 75th D-Day Commemoration activities on the Eisenhower Library campus that day and other invited guest were allowed a sneak peak.
At that time many of the artifacts had still not been installed in the cases, which were built in Belgium.
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