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PROPOSED: Carrier Museum at Quonset Point

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Carrier museum has Carcieri's blessing

Before the Saratoga is guaranteed dock space at Quonset, its supporters must come up with $10 million and approval from the industrial park.

BY ANDREA L. STAPE Journal Staff Writer | May 4, 2005

Governor Carcieri supports adding a retired Navy aircraft carrier to the Quonset Business Park, even though a state review panel advised against the move last year.

Carcieri recommended last week that the Saratoga, a Navy supercarrier, be established as a museum on Pier 2 at the state-owned industrial park. Since 1998, the USS Saratoga Museum Foundation has been attempting to get the 1,063-foot ship berthed at the North Kingstown industrial park and turned into a tourist attraction.

The governor's recommendation is the first time a top-ranking state official has officially backed the project.

"It is a huge milestone for us," said Frank Lennon, the foundation's president.

But the governor's endorsement has some strings attached. The foundation must raise $10 million to "demonstrate the project's feasibility," according to a letter that the governor sent the foundation last week. All homeland-security and environmental concerns need to be addressed by the foundation, which must develop a strategy for keeping the museum in operation if the ship has to be moved, according to the letter.

The governor is giving the foundation two years -- until May 1, 2007 -- to raise the money and meet the requirements. If the foundation misses the deadline, the Quonset board can lease the pier to other businesses, according to the recommendation. Until then, though, the governor recommends that the board reserve space on the pier for the ship. Carcieri's recommendation also makes clear that he cannot commit money from the state budget for the project, or borrow money to finance the museum.

"This is a project that [Carcieri] believes has a number of advantages," said Jeff Neal, spokesman for the governor. "But he also has a responsibility to assure that it's economically feasible -- and that it won't incur any debt for the state going forward."

Continue reading at: ProJo.com.

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One fine carrier museum [ProJo.com]

It looks like the funding is in a better situation then many (including myself) people would have thought. Now that the Carrier Museum is looking like a go, with the proposel of a second SHip ( The JFK ) Would it make sence to relocate the Rusian Sub in that area? What I see starting to come together is a Battleship Cove on steriods. These two ships already are big then all 4-5 ships in fall river. If done right, this could be a major attraction.

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It looks like the funding is in a better situation then many (including myself) people would have thought. Now that the Carrier Museum is looking like a go, with the proposel of a second SHip ( The JFK ) Would it make sence to relocate the Rusian Sub in that area? What I see starting to come together is a Battleship Cove on steriods. These two ships already are big then all 4-5 ships in fall river. If done right, this could be a major attraction.

this would be an awesome idea... is the sub museum area too small for the carriers? i think it'd be neat to have something like that in providence and actually make the waterfront down there an attraction rather than leave it 100% industrial...

i can understand the connection with quonset though, since it was once a navy base.

is the carrier in newport still in use by the navy?

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is the carrier in newport still in use by the navy?

Nope. Both the Saratoga and the Forrestal are retired and being stored in Newport.

I'm surprised that the Projo is opposed to bringing the Kennedy to Quonset. There are only a handful of aircraft carrier museums in the world, and I'm pretty sure this would be the only one with two carriers. That's an enormous amount of space, and given the funding this could provide a truly world-class museum, bringing more visitors to the region. Of course commercial development is necessary, but Quonset is hardly running out of usable space. I can't see the dockage this project would take becoming an economic burden, considering the screams of opposition to expanding Quonset's seaport activities.

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Last I heard, the State is allowing 'sister sara' to berth at pier 1 (or 2 - I forget) until the foundation that will convert the ship to a museum gets the 10M they need to do it. I remember reading that they had a good % of that money after a couple of sizaeable donations and a bank or two to back the project as well. I know it was in the projo - I forgot there was a thread about this, otherwise, I would have posted a link that day...

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The following PBN article clarifies that the "Sara" won't be donated by the Navy to be used as a museum.

PBN: "Nonprofit wants USS JFK for Newport"

http://pbn.com/detail/49598.html

BUT, as you can read from the headline, the same basic group will now try to do the museum in Newport.

I hope they can pull it off this time!

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5/4/2010 PROJO:

"Aircraft carrier Kennedy to be sought

Efforts to bring a decommissioned aircraft carrier to Rhode Island have switched from the Saratoga to the John F. Kennedy. The Navy has announced plans to scrap the Saratoga, and has made the Kennedy available.

The nonprofit Rhode Island Aviation Hall of Fame will spearhead the effort to bring the ship to Rhode Island. Frank Lennon, president of the hall of fame, said the organization has already submitted its formal letter of intent to the Navy, and has the support of Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy, Governor Carcieri and the Newport & Bristol County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Lennon said the group hopes to locate the Kennedy somewhere still to be determined on Aquidneck Island. He said the carrier could be a tourist attraction, recreation facility, education and heritage center, job-training facility and even a staging area for disaster-relief efforts.

Lennon said the USS Saratoga Museum Foundation, which has worked for 12 years to bring that carrier to Rhode Island, plans to create and manage a memorial and display on board the Kennedy devoted to the Saratoga.

For more information, go the Web site www.ussjfkri.org."

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