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National Medal of Honor Heritage Center Celebrates Ground-Breaking Ceremony

January 17, 2019

Press Releases

Heritage Center begins construction on permanent home for Tennessee Medal of Honor Recipients

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (January 17, 2019) – The National Medal of Honor Heritage Center today announced it has begun construction on the 19,000 squarefoot facility which will honor and preserve the stories of 20 Tennessee Medal of Honor recipients. Scheduled to open in February 2020, visitors will be able to explore their dramatic stories through a series of immersive and engaging exhibits. Each experience will incorporate the innovative and curriculum-approved Medal of Honor Character Development Program that emphasizes six character traits that embodied the Medal of Honor and its recipients – Patriotism, Citizenship, Courage, Sacrifice, Integrity, and Commitment.

“Our announcement today is a celebration for our community. This Heritage Center not only memorializes the acts of valor demonstrated by the recipients of our highest military award but educates the next generation about the six character traits associated with their gallantry, from the First Medals forward,” said Major General Bill Raines, U.S. Army (Retired) and chairman of the Charles H. Coolidge Medal of Honor Heritage Center. “This Heritage Center is about education, an experience that teaches you something. These Medal of Honor characteristics can apply in your life whether you are in the school yard or in the board room.”

The Heritage Center will include a large permanent gallery with interactive exhibits on Medal of Honor recipients, dedicated area for travelling exhibits, two classrooms, and an event space which will support the Veteran community.

Leading the design project of the new Heritage Center is Rear Admiral Noah Long, U.S. Navy (Ret.). Simultaneously to his military career as a Naval Reserve Officer with the Navy’s Civil Engineer Corp., Admiral Long had a successful business career in construction management, real estate development, and design management. Before retiring in 2006 as the President and CEO of Rosser International, a major architectural and engineering firm in Atlanta, Admiral Long led the company during the design of several prominent museums and tourist attractions in our country and across the world, including the World of Coca-Cola museum and the Olympic Stadium in Atlanta.

“We are very fortunate to have Noah’s leadership and expertise on this project. He has done an amazing job of selecting talented designers and fabricators and is creating a unique visitor’s experience that not only tells our story but does it in a way that makes you feel like you are stepping into the story,” said Major General Raines.

The entire project of creating and constructing the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center relies upon four firms. Neuhoff Taylor Architects, PC, is a local architectural firm experienced in a wide range of product types. They have taken responsibility for transforming the existing facility into a fully-functioning Heritage Center. Croxall Construction is a commercial contracting firm that handles medium-sized projects. They are responsible for modifications to the existing facility to accommodate the new design. Encore Interpretive Design from Nashville was chosen as the project manager. Their goal is to make the stories of these real American Heroes come alive and inspire visitors with knowledge and an experience which excites them. Warner Museum, formerly known as Method 1, is an exhibit and museum fabricator, installer, and contractor with extensive experience and inspiring design skills. They will produce the exhibits in their factory in Birmingham, Alabama and transport and install them in the new facility.

In addition to the exhibits that share the stories of 20 Tennessee Medal of Honor recipients, the facility will serve as the educational hub for the Character Development Program. The Heritage Center will have two classrooms devoted to teaching the Medal of Honor character traits. In addition, the Center will offer family programming and special events. The 19,000 square foot facility will also have designated venue space for utilization of a wide-range of activities.

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