16 Local Companies Volunteer to Help Create U.S. Military History Museum

“Construction has begun on the U.S. Military History Museum and Education Center thanks to the generosity of 16 local companies that have donated professional services and products,” according to Joe Frasher, Director of the Greenville Downtown Airport.  The Greenville Airport Commission has donated the use of an old, military style Butler building to house the future museum that is being developed by the Military History Center of the Carolinas (MHCC).  It will focus on WWI to present day conflicts.

“City of Greenville resident Chris Nordmeyer with Design South Professionals was the first to step up.  A friend of his forwarded to him a plea they read on LinkedIn which was asking for a volunteer architect,” Frasher mentioned.   “I liked the idea of getting to know more people in my community while helping create something for my community,” stated Nordmeyer when asked why he offered to help.  Nordmeyer then reached out to local professionals with Burdette Engineering, Inc.​ and LeBlanc Welch Consulting Engineers, two firms that he has worked well with in the past. They both agreed to help by providing mechanical, electrical and plumbing construction drawings.  These plans were needed to get a city building permit.

Next came Charley Patrick with Triangle Construction who volunteered to be the General Contractor.  “I bring my children to Runway Park all the time.  I brought them out to the see the World War II aircraft last fall.  They enjoyed seeing and playing on some of the military vehicles owned by members of Military History Center.  When I received an email asking for help, I wanted to participate as much as I could because I love the community spot that is being created in this area.  Triangle Construction sees the value of this project and is 100% on board with it.”

“I just retired from the Air Force after 26.5 years. This place has a lot of meaning to me and I understand what it will bring to our community,” stated Stacey Wiggins whose employer Roto-Rooter Plumbing Company gave the next offer of help.   “What an exciting project!  As a locally-owned franchise of Roto-Rooter, it is important to us to give back to our community.  As a company that employs several veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, it is extra special,”  stated Abby E. Zaffuto Roto-Rooter’s President.

“Roto-Rooter originally agreed to a much smaller job.  When they scoped the plumbing line, however, they said ‘while this pipe might work, it is extremely old.  If we are going to put our name on it, we’d like to replace the entire line to the street.’  Who does that?”  questioned Frasher.  “A company that really cares about the job they are doing!”  answered Frasher.  “In order to replace the pipe a large area of concrete needed to be cut out and guess what?  Roto-Rooter reached out to their friends at Dixie Concrete Cutting and they offered to provide that service!  They also asked ProSource if they could throw in some bathroom fixtures and pipes.  They also said yes!”

“Then Daniel Wetzel with AMTECK offered to provide electrical products and installation.  Wetzel mentioned that he wanted to help because his children also like Runway Park and enjoyed the World War II aircraft.  Compass Pest Management donated a preventative termite treatment and Republic Services provided a large construction dumpster.  Triangle Construction brought on board Priority One Security, as well as, S&ME to test the building’s paint for lead and Galloway-Bell who provided and installed insulation!  Cook & Boardman will be supplying all the fixtures!  Bonitz will be installing flooring, framing and drywall!  Greenville Mechanical will be helping with the heating and air conditioning!” stated Frasher.  “I just can’t believe how wonderful and generous these companies are!  They are doing almost everything that will be needed, at no charge, to get the Certificate of Occupancy for phase one of the museum project.”

“Once these great companies have completely finished the front building (which contains restrooms, an office and gift shop area) and have done the electrical, lighting and other required items to the large hangar, then MHCC will start fundraising efforts to create a high tech classroom where people can be immersed in history with interactive high tech displays!”  stated MHCC President Alan Spearman.  “We already have many historical military items to place in the museum but we are also looking for more to be donated.  Phase two will be to insulate and add heat and air conditioning to the large hangar that will eventually be the display area.  Phase three will be to add the display cases, mannequins, educational signage, movie projection items and other display fixtures” added Spearman.  “MHCC is applying for grants and asking the public to pitch in financially for these items if they would like to support this project which will honor veterans and help to educate school age children and the general public.  The museum will open as soon as finances allow.  Who knows. . .  maybe someone will read this and donate the other items needed and we can open this year!”  stated Spearman.

The future museum is located at 14 Airport Road Ext., Greenville, SC 29607 and is adjacent to Runway Park which is within a block of the proposed Swamp Rabbit Trail extension.  Airport officials plan to try and gain support to construct a Swamp Rabbit Trail Spur on their property that leads up to this area.

Want to help?  MHCC is a 501 (c) (3) tax exempt organization so donations are tax-deductible.  Donations can be mailed to MHCC, 100 Tower Drive, Unit 6, Greenville, SC 29607.

In addition to financial donations, military items are sought. Please visit http://www.greenvilledowntownairport.com/MHCC.html for details.

About Military History Center of the Carolinas (MHCC)

MHCC was originally formed in the mid 1990’s under the name Military Collectors Club of the Carolinas.  In 2009, the group was incorporated in South Carolina as a non-profit and was approved as a tax-exempt 501-C3 organization by the IRS.  The name was changed to Military History Center of the Carolinas in July 2015 to better reflect the full scope of MHCC operations.  For many years, members of MHCC have been dedicated to preserving our American Military History by collecting and restoring items to take to events throughout our nation and within our local communities.  This group, which has members from South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia, have conducted a sort of “traveling museum”.  Last year alone they visited  67 locations.  Families and individuals; young, and not so young; male and female; about 50% veterans, and many others who have never served, help make up this diverse group.  For more information about MHCC, please visit http://www.greenvilledowntownairport.com/MHCC.html or contact Sam Cooper at scooper2@charter.net or 864-346-5026

About GMU

GMU is the busiest general aviation airport and third busiest airport overall in South Carolina and is a self-sufficient entity with financial strength that doesn’t rely on local taxpayers for funding. GMU is home to Greenville Jet Center, the largest Fixed Base Operator (FBO) in S.C., as well as more than 25 other aviation-related businesses creating 453 jobs that annually contribute more than $35.2 million to the Upstate economy. For more information about GMU please visit http://www.greenvilledowntownairport.com or contact Joe Frasher at 864-242-4777 or joe@greenvilledowntownairport.com


For Immediate Release
Contact Lara Kaufmann
Attached are photos and a floor plan that you can use.  Descriptions below.

Roto-Rooter’s Adam Smith, Marine Corps Veteran pictured in blue; and Stacey Wiggins, Retired Air Force Veteran pictured in gray.