With the recent completion of some significant construction work, the National VOA Museum of Broadcasting will open for tours on the third Saturday of each month from 1 to 4 p.m. starting July 21.
The recent renovations included installation of a new roof and block maintenance on the rear of the building. West Chester Township will be reimbursed for the work through a $500,000 grant from the Ohio Cultural Facilities Commission.
As well as the recent grant, the township also received a $1 million grant in 2008 to repair the exterior facade, windows and entry doors, as well as some electrical. During the 2008 restoration, the township had to pay an additional $731,653. Overall, West Chester has spent around $1.68 million from its own budget on utilities and improvements since 2004.
With construction completed, it will soon be up to the VOA Museum board to raise approximately $12 million to make it a revenue-generating landmark.
“It would certainly be a real asset to West Chester and draw people all over the country and the world,” Mark Hecquet, executive director of the Butler County Visitors Bureau, said in an interview with WestChesterBuzz in February.
“Hopefully it comes to fruition because it is a one of a kind thing and we should do all we can to make it a reality.”
According to board chairman Ken Rieser, the group hopes to kick off its fundraising efforts this year. However, the process is contingent on getting a working agreement in place with the township. Rieser said that the board is “in the final stages of the process.”
If and when the fundraising is completed, it is expected to attract 25,000 visitors, bring in $475,000 in out of area direct spending and provide an overall economic impact in excess of $1.7 million annually, according to estimates by museum design firm Jack Rouse Associates.
The National VOA Museum of Broadcasting consists of exhibits featuring the Voice of America at the VOA-Bethany station; Media Heritage’s Greater Cincinnati Museum of Broadcast History; the Gray History of Wireless Museum; and the West Chester Amateur Radio Assn.
For more information about VOA museums, go to www.voamuseum.org.
The museum is located at 8070 Tylersville Road in West Chester.