Statement from Charles Marcon
Chairman and Interim President, National Museum of Industrial History
The Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County has approved and entered a Consent Decree agreed to by the National Museum of Industrial History (NMIH) and the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, concluding a prolonged review by the Northampton County District Attorney, Northampton County Grand Jury and the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General.
As we have maintained throughout this extended process, NMIH has demonstrated its compliance with Pennsylvania law governing the operation of charitable non-profit corporations and, according to the Attorney General's Motion to Approve Consent Decree, "there is no evidence of a crime, misappropriation, bad faith or diversion of any charitable assets." The Consent Decree further states that the Directors of NMIH acted in what they believed to be the best interests of the Museum, that most of the funding to support the construction and operation of NMIH has been contributed by its board members, and that given our current financial position, the completion of the Museum appears viable.
To the board, the most important part of the Consent Decree is the Attorney General's indication that we can and should continue with our mission of building the Museum. To that end, we have already restarted construction with work on the first floor concrete slab and related underground utilities. Bids for the next phase - completion of the first floor - will be received the week of January 26, 2015, with work to begin shortly thereafter and completed by the end of September 2015. Work on exhibit installation will begin after that, and the Museum should open by mid-2016.
We will immediately begin our search for a new Executive Director as outlined in the Consent Decree. We thank Steve Donches for his tireless commitment and dedication to our organization. Steve's efforts and relationships were solely responsible for securing a $3 million grant to NMIH earlier in 2014, and additional funds prior, that will allow the organization to complete the Museum's construction. His vast institutional knowledge about the project is invaluable. We are hopeful he will continue to be available as a volunteer if called upon by the board to contribute his expertise as the project moves forward.
Regarding the search process, NMIH has hired Brent Glass, a highly respected and experienced museum consultant, former Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and Director Emeritus of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, to manage the search. A Search Committee is currently being formed and will include at least two community members not directly affiliated with NMIH. The salary to be offered will be consistent with that of Executive Directors in similar positions of similar organizations. The goal is to have the Executive Director in place by the middle of 2015.
With the Attorney General's investigation behind us, we are delighted that we can move forward confidently with our plans and open a Museum that the general public and our donors will be proud of for years to come. We are committed to giving the community a gathering place that celebrates our industrial heritage and provides another educational and cultural experience on Bethlehem's South Side.
We are pleased to announce that The National Museum of Industrial History (NMIH) began its third phase of construction Dec. 9, 2014, at 10 a.m.
This phase of construction will consist of the Museum's concrete slab and underground utilities.
Once this phase of construction is complete, NMIH will move on to interior construction of the building and exhibit installation in preparation for opening its doors to the public in the first half of 2016.
Alvin H. Butz, Inc. is the construction manager for the project and will manage and supervise all construction.
We will continue to keep the public up to date with news and photos during all phases of the construction.
BETHLEHEM, Pa. (October 7, 2014) - The National Museum of Industrial History (NMIH) has submitted an application to the City of Bethlehem for a building permit and its construction manager, Alvin H. Butz, Inc. (Butz), will begin seeking bids for the third phase of construction, which encompasses the Museum's concrete slab and underground utilities.
Once this stage is complete, NMIH will move on to interior construction of the building and exhibit installation in preparation for opening its doors to the public in the first half of 2016.
"We are able to move forward with construction now that finances are in place thanks in great measure to an anonymous $3 million donation," said Museum Board Chairman and President L. Charles Marcon. "The realization of our Vision to preserve and tell the story of America's industrial achievements is within reach and something we are very much looking forward to."