Hoar Program Management to oversee Maritime Museum construction
City of Mobile prepares for groundbreaking on public/private project
in spring 2009
MOBILE, Ala. – The City of Mobile hired Hoar Program Management today to oversee construction of the National Maritime Museum of the Gulf of Mexico, a $36 million public-private project that serves as the centerpiece of Mobile Landing, the city’s downtown riverfront development.
The Mobile City Council unanimously approved the contract with Hoar Program Management following a competitive selection process conducted earlier this year. “This is going to be a wonderful addition to our city. We look forward to the tourism dollars it will bring and for this project to get going,” Council President Reggie Copeland said.
Hoar Program Management is a division of Hoar Construction, LLC of Birmingham, AL. With 68 years of continuous operation as a general contractor, Hoar Construction founded its program management division in 1998 to offer program and construction management services for institutional, municipal, corporate and not-for-profit clients. Recent projects include the Barber Motorsports Park and Museum in Leeds, AL; the Shelby Center for Engineering Technology at Auburn University; and multiple on-going projects at the University of Alabama.
“All of us at Hoar are thrilled to have been selected for this one-of-a-kind project,” Mike Lanier, Vice President of Hoar Program Management, said. “The public/private structure of this client is ideally suited to our strengths as program and construction managers. We look forward to finalizing the planning that is already underway, then seeing this project successfully completed for the citizens of Mobile and the State of Alabama.”
The City of Mobile is planning to break ground on the Maritime Museum in spring 2009. Based on an 18-20 month construction schedule, the Maritime Museum is currently slated to open in late 2010.
The National Maritime Museum of the Gulf of Mexico will be the first museum dedicated to presenting the maritime heritage and culture of the Gulf Coast, and only the third maritime museum in the world to primarily feature hands-on, interactive exhibits rather than maritime artifacts.
The Maritime Museum’s 90,000 sq. ft. structure is shaped liked a ship headed into Mobile Bay – a design that will establish the building as an architectural icon in downtown Mobile. Inside this structure, the museum’s exhibits will be housed inside the stern of a full-sized container ship, displayed as if dockside. The container ship will look like a real vessel – from its actual size to the water surrounding its hull, enticing visitors to explore the maritime world by stepping on board.
The Maritime Museum’s interactive exhibits will address topics such as early Gulf settlements, marine archeology, deep sea exploration, modern shipbuilding, maritime commerce and industry, navigation techniques, weather and hurricanes, the river systems, and coastal stewardship.
World-class exhibits designers are planning the interactive exhibits: Lyons/Zaremba, designers of the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga, Tenn., and the National Mississippi River Museum in Dubuque, Iowa; and Monadnock Media, award-winning producers of multi-media content for the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, and the Ellis Island Immigration Museum.
“Our designers are taking an innovative approach, applying the latest technology to establish a distinctive identity for the Maritime Museum’s interactive experiences,” Tony Zodrow, Executive Director of the Maritime Museum, said. “These exhibits are not just about maritime history. They will illuminate the past but also highlight the present and point to the future of the Gulf Coast.”
Traveling exhibitions will play an important role in broadening the visitor experience even further. Unlike the permanent exhibits, traveling exhibits will showcase primarily maritime artifacts, artwork and memorabilia. Hands-on components will be utilized to complement the displays. “Through rotating exhibits, the Maritime Museum will showcase maritime artifacts, but these exhibits will change regularly so the artifacts displayed will not become static to our visitors,” Zodrow said. Potential traveling exhibitions include Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, Treasures of NOAA’s Ark, Pirates of the Gulf of Mexico, and Extreme Deep: Journey to the Abyss.
The Maritime Museum is a public-private partnership, made possible through collaboration between the City of Mobile and a non-profit organization that is planning the museum and will operate the facility under a long-term agreement with the City of Mobile. The non-profit is governed by a Board of Trustees comprised of community and state leaders. Trustees represent a variety of professional disciplines including maritime business and industry, banking, law, education, military service, accounting, engineering, commercial real estate, and public utilities.