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Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum plans changes

Museum enhancements will include new ways to tell the story of the Oklahoma City bombing, Kari Watkins, executive director of the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, said.
by Bryan Painter Modified: September 23, 2012 at 9:18 pm •  Published: September 24, 2012

At 9:02 a.m. April 19, 1995, so much changed with the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.

At 9:03 that morning, the responsibility of remembering and educating began, said Kari Watkins, executive director of the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum.

That has not stopped.

About four months ago, the Oklahoma City National Memorial Foundation unveiled plans for an updated museum that foundation officials said will help the memorial better tell the story of the Oklahoma City bombing to all generations.

The 9:03 Fund was created to support this, and the project is in the early design and fundraising stages where more than $7 million already has been raised.

“At that moment, 9:03, we were charged with moving forward and remembering but also rebuilding our lives and our city,” Watkins said.

“Through the 9:03 Fund, we will raise an additional $10 million for our endowment which is already right around $13 million and then will also raise more than $5 million for the capital campaign, most of which will be used for the museum enhancement and a cash savings for emergency repairs that we face with an aging facility.”

Planned overlook

Plans include a second- story overlook, proposed to be located just above the tree line of the south facade of the museum. Last week, the Downtown Design Review Committee passed the plan for the overlook, Watkins said.

“We wanted to get this approved through the proper channels before we asked additional donors to buy into the idea,” she said. “We believe those who donate to help make this a reality will understand why we want to advance this story and the critical nature to remembering this event and its relevance to today.”

She said they will go back to the committee over the next year with construction documents.

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by Bryan Painter
Assistant Local Editor
Bryan Painter, assistant local editor, has 31 years’ experience in journalism, including 22 years with the state's largest newspaper, The Oklahoman. In that time he has covered such events as the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah...
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