Construction is officially underway on the major expansion of the Virginia War Memorial’s (VWM) Shrine of Memory and Paul and Phyllis Galanti Educational Center, built by KBS in 2010. The expanded facilities will allow names of Virginians lost in current conflicts to be added to Shrine of Memory walls.
“This expansion will allow us to honor those who died in Afghanistan, Iraq and in the ongoing Global War on Terrorism in the same way the Memorial honors the nearly 12,000 Virginians who lost their lives in World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the Persian Gulf. This way we can assure that their service and sacrifice is never forgotten,” said Delegate Rich Anderson, Chairman of the Virginia War Memorial Board.
This project will be a 20,000-square-foot addition which will have an underground parking deck with more than 170 spaces, 300-seat auditorium, long-distance learning center and additional exhibit galleries and office space. KBS is the construction manager on the project designed by SMBW Architects.
The total budget for the project is approximately $25 million. The non-profit Virginia War Memorial Foundation (VWMF) has committed to raising $1,250,000 for the project, with the other 95 percent coming from state funding approved by the Governor and General Assembly.
The groundbreaking ceremony took place on June 16 with Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe among those attending.
“We are fortunate to have this premiere war memorial here in Virginia,” said Governor McAuliffe. “The expansion project reflects our Commonwealth’s enduring commitment to honor our fellow Virginians who have served our country and especially those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.”
The ceremonial groundbreaking participants were (pictured, from left): David Christian, VWMF Chairman; Delegate Rich Anderson; Commissioner John Newby; Virginia Veterans and Defense Affairs Deputy Secretary Areizaga –Soto; First Lady McAuliffe; Governor McAuliffe; Paul Galanti; Joe Damico, DGS; Will Scribner, principal at SMBW; Steve Satterfield, VP of Preconstruction at KBS; Jon Hatfield, former VWM director.
Dedicated in 1956, the Virginia War Memorial includes the names of the nearly 12,000 Virginia heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice during World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf and the Global War on Terrorism. The Memorial overlooks downtown Richmond and the James River at 621 South Belvidere Street. More than 70,000 people visit the facility annually.
The target completion date of the project is April 2019. The Virginia War Memorial will remain open to the public throughout the project to continue to fulfill its mission.