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Commissioners allow new museum to move forward

October 05, 2005|by TARA REILLY

The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday authorized two local boards to move forward with plans for a second museum at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center on Sharpsburg Pike.

The center's board of directors and the Washington County Rural Heritage Museum Committee are planning the approximately 7,200-square-foot building.

Gerald Poffenberger, president of center, said the building's cost estimate is $144,000. The electrical and ventilation systems would cost approximately $40,000 to $45,000.

The building will be open to the public and next to the Rural Heritage Museum. It will "house the growing collection of larger equipment and machinery that has been donated," according to the commissioners' agenda packet.

The Rural Heritage Museum features exhibits and items depicting the county's early heritage. Exhibits include a general store, a farm kitchen, parlor, country church and an original Conestoga wagon, according to the museum's Web site.

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Information provided by the county states that the center has received a $75,000 state grant and collected $125,000 in donations for the project.

Operating expenses are anticipated to be $3,000 to $4,000 a year, the information states.

Officials said the Maryland Dairy Shrine, which has proposed building a third museum to honor the dairy industry, is almost ready to present a business plan for the third facility to the commissioners.

In August, the commissioners asked Dairy Shrine representative Matthew Iager to submit a business plan and other information before they approved the facility.

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