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Museum to host events page 2
Guided public tours, celebrity golf tournament, Civil War re- enactment in the works for the U.S. National Slavery Museum.

Date published: 1/30/2006

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Bailey said she sees the slavery museum complementing other Virginia sites that offer information about black history, and noted that black Americans account for 10 percent to 11 percent of the travel market share.

Bailey said that once she has "assurance" the museum is opening in 2007, it would be a welcome addition to the state's commemoration of Jamestown's founding.

"We see it as a great opportunity for all Americans to see the legacy of slavery," Bailey said. "I was very impressed with the description of what they want to accomplish."

Smith said this week that the project is still scheduled for an October 2007 grand opening and that the cost is still estimated at between $100 million and $125 million. The museum has scheduled a fundraising gala in New York City on Feb. 19.

In response to written questions from The Free Lance-Star, Wolf wrote that he could not provide a date for the start of construction.

"Nothing has been ordered to date," Wolf wrote. "We are not able to formally schedule a start date as there are several factors precluding us from doing so."

He did not spell out the factors involved.

Earlier this month, Smith said a number of studies--including wind-tunnel studies--had been conducted in preparation for beginning construction.

Sources have said the studies were needed because of the site's riverside location and the Pei design, which calls for a glass front through which travelers should be able to glimpse the full-scale replica slave ship inside.

Wolf said the site's soil and the design had not caused delays or increased costs.

"The soil is what it is," he wrote. "The foundation of this structure is being designed to accommodate all the engineering functions and has not caused a delay. Costs have been anticipated and are included in our budgeting."

To reach PAMELA GOULD: 540/735-1972
Email: pgould@freelancestar.com


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