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Athens Veterans Museum gets money to tear down dock, beginning of expansion

The Limestone County commission gave the Alabama Veterans Museum nearly 15 thousand dollars for the expansion --- that money going directly toward tearing down a dock on the property and putting up a new building in its place.

Posted: Feb. 21, 2018 4:04 PM
Updated: Feb. 21, 2018 4:05 PM

A staple in the Athens community is one step closer to remodeling and expanding their facility.

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The Limestone County commission gave the Alabama Veterans Museum nearly 15 thousand dollars for the expansion --- that money is going directly toward tearing down a dock on the property and putting up a new building in its place.

"There's so much history here and it'll give us a better opportunity to spread the word about what our veterans have done, what the military has done," said regular volunteer Yvonne Dempsey. 

"Expansion would give us about seven thousand more square feet and would allow us to showcase things we have gotten from our volunteers," said volunteer Tyre Benefield. 

Expansion is exactly what the Alabama Veterans Museum and Archives is getting. 

On Tuesday -- the Limestone County commission gave nearly 15 thousand dollars to Hawkins Ground Work. That company will knock the dock that's been standing on the property since  the early 1900s.

Museum officials and volunteers say they've been looking to expand for the past 10 years. They told WAAY 31, they are eagerly anticipating the new building -- which will include classrooms, a library and more room for artifacts -- and say they wouldn't have been able to do it without the help of the commission.

However, that donation is not the end of the road. Right now the museum has raised 300 thousand dollars on its own -- but hope to have a million raised by the end of may with 2.2 million dollars as the end goal.

"Once people see what we're doing they're start to get excited," said museum director Sandy Thompson. 

Those who spend majority of their time at the museum say they're feeling hopeful about its expansion and its ability to give the Athens and Limestone county community insight into history.

"We enjoy giving people tours and telling them about our history," Benefield said. 

"It'll be a big boom for the community," said Dempsey. 

As far as when construction will begin, they say they're hoping soon, but a date has not been determined.

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