Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville will have a grand opening for its new one-story research center which will house West Virginia’s archaeological collection on Monday, May 12, from 1 - 2 p.m. A reception with light refreshments will follow the ceremony. The event is free and the public is invited to attend. Reservations are requested.
Governor Joe Manchin III, Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, Susan Pierce, director of the State Historic Preservation Office and other dignitaries are scheduled to attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony. The John Marshall High School Monarch Chorus from Glen Dale, W.Va. will perform for the activities.
The 9,600-square-foot wing has been added to the northeast corner of the complex’s museum. In addition to a state-of-the-art collections storage area, the wing features a conservation laboratory for curators, study area for researchers, library, and an observation area where the public can view the activity in the lab.
The new addition was built to house archaeological collections that are currently stored at various other sites, some of which are out of state. It also has ample room for more than 25 years of expansion to the entire collection. West Virginia did not have a suitable state or federal repository for storing archaeological materials until this wing was built.
“This new wing at Grave Creek will provide a centralized location for the state’s archaeological collections,” said Reid-Smith. “We are excited to see the culmination of planning for the new addition which will accommodate both the current collection and its anticipated growth. Grave Creek will be the center of archaeological studies in West Virginia as well as the state’s premiere archaeological museum and tourist destination. It is already the envy of the archaeological nation,” he added.
The new wing was a $3.1-million project, funded by the West Virginia Legislature and a Save America’s Treasures grant supported by Senator Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va. Walters Construction Inc. of Wheeling performed the actual construction, and Lisa Dall’Olio of Grove and Dall’Olio Architects in Martinsburg was the architect and project manager.
The concept of a new building began in 1996 when the state’s archaeological collection was transferred to Grave Creek. The project was publicly announced in September 2004.
For more information about the grand opening ceremony or to make a reservation, contact Susan Yoho, site manager of Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex, at (304) 843-4128.
Operated by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex features one of the largest and most famous burial mounds built by the prehistoric Adena people. A massive undertaking, construction of the mound took place in successive stages from about 250-150 B.C., and required the movement of more than 60,000 tons of earth. Exhibits and displays in the complex’s museum interpret what is known about the lives of these prehistoric people and the construction of the mound. The Museum in located at 801 Jefferson Ave., in Moundsville. It is open to the public Monday - Saturday from 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., and Sunday from 1 - 5 p.m.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. Its administrative offices are located at the Cultural Center in the State Capitol Complex in Charleston, which also houses the state archives and state museum. The Cultural Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. The agency also operates a network of museums and historic sites across the state. For more information about the Division’s programs, visit www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.
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