Update on the History Center’s 2017 Progress
If things have seemed quiet at the History Center, there’s been a reason: We’ve been busy! Since we wrote you last year, we’ve raised more than $20 million in new, firm commitments including $7.5 million each from the City of Fayetteville and Cumberland County and $5 million from the State of NC. And thanks in part to receipt of the initial grant funds from the State and in part to funds we have received from you, we have been working hard toward planning for our initial ground breaking. Yes, a ground breaking for the first phase of work, in the Spring of 2018!
We plan to take the two Civil War-era homes that are tucked away toward the Hay Street side of the property and renovate and relocate them to the southern end of the property where they will join the existing Culbreth House—also Civil War-era—in creating a period “village.” Significantly, one of the two houses is slated to become the headquarters of our Digital Educational Outreach program. We have secured enough funding to properly restore the building and to equip it with state-of-the-art digital distance-learning hardware and software. While we still have more work to do before that program can get fully underway, it is a great start having the building and the equipment in place! Funds are also in place to purchase and move the existing Poe Rental house that currently sits on the planned site of the 60,000 square foot main facility.
With all the above work complete, within the next 18+ months we will be physically positioned to break ground on the main facility. On the fundraising front, with the help of our statewide advisory board, we are actively soliciting private support from corporations and foundations across the state. And we are working hard to build on last year’s initial investment from the State as well as moving toward getting the complete funding from the General Assembly. Stay tuned.
That brings us back to you and how you can help. Part of our grant from the State is a matching grant of $2.5 million. In order to release these funds, we must match it dollar for dollar by June 30, 2019. That’s a lot of money and not a lot of time. Unfortunately, we aren’t allowed to count previous gifts and pledges toward the match—that would be too easy! We can only count cash gifts—not pledges—and in-kind gifts toward the match.
While we know our supporters come from all walks of life (and financial capacities), we are now seeking your gift to the capital campaign, keeping in mind that any payment you make on a pledge before June 30, 2019 will be matched one-to-one. Your investment will be doubled in value to our project! (If you have already made a significant gift to our campaign, we thank you!)
If we have a mailing address on file for you, you’ll soon receive a letter from us containing this year-end update as well a small brochure, a pledge card, and a return envelope. If you don’t receive a letter, you can call our office at 910-491-0602 and request a pledge card, or click on the “Donate” button on our home page and then the “Gifts and Pledges” box.
Many thanks for helping us make the History Center a reality, and our best wishes for a joyous holiday season and a Happy New Year!