Raleigh County Veteran’s Museum getting new home

The Raleigh County Veterans Museum has outgrown its current location. Busting at the seams, it can’t take in any more artifacts.

When the sheriff’s department got approval for their new digs, the county commissioners thought it was a great idea to make it the new museum.

“While our old museum is a beautiful museum and has a lot of character and a lot to offer, this one the concept is more of an open floor plan,” said museum president Ron Hedrick. “So you’ll be able to see more from a distance and at one time. We’ve been reaching out and visiting other museums to see how they do things to kind of educate ourselves on how to take this bigger building and do it right.”

Their artifacts and memorabilia preserve southern West Virginians’ service sacrifice to our country. There’s nothing here yet. With their upcoming move, the Raleigh County Veterans Museum will soon have more room for that extensive collection.

They could have come in and started knocking things down and getting rid of it but they thought it would be best to try to repurpose as much of the material as possible.

“Whether it’s the insulation in the ceiling we can reuse to help with the heating and cooling, the sheetrock,” Hedrick said. “They use metal studs, 10-foot studs. Well we don’t need 10-foot studs, we can cut the ends off and now we have eight or nine-foot studs. So little things like that to include the trim and the doors.”

As a founding member of the original veteran’s museum, this 93-year-old Korean War veteran is happy with the new space.

“I really like the first sight that I have here; it’s great, a lot of progress,” Richard Sepkowski said. “Very impressed, I’m impressed and I’m sure that they will be.”

Museum president Ron Hedrick says the goal is to open on Memorial Day. He says they’re on track for the demo part and have been storing materials for the new phase. For a building of that size what they’ll have to spend will be much less due to donations. He’s most looking forward to the impact the new space will have on the community.

“Even the ones that have toured the old museum I can’t wait to see how they react,” he said. “I mean, I love museums — and I hope they get the same feeling like when I go to a new museum, like ‘oh, this is pretty impressive. I hope that they get that feeling.”

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