By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport City Council made a commitment in 2007 to donate $25,000 per year for 10 years to Motts Military Museum and museum director Warren Motts wants city officials to know they are getting their money’s worth.
“We want only the best for our veterans,” Motts told council in November. “We want the museum to be a great memorial to those who have served and to those who lost theirs lives for their country. We’re looking to the future and the city’s donation is helping us get there.”
Motts Military Museum, located at 5075 S. Hamilton Road in Groveport, houses artifacts of American military history dating back to the nation’s founding. The museum displays also tell the stories of the men and women who served.
No plans to move the museum
“I want to dispel any rumors that the museum could move out of Groveport,” said Motts. “I am a graduate of Groveport High School and I live here. I have no intention of moving the museum anywhere. It will stay in Groveport. I guarantee that. It will be here in Groveport forever.”
He praised and thanked Groveport officials and residents for their support of the museum, adding, “Our wish is for Groveport to be known as a city that does not take the appreciation of veterans lightly.”
Museum to open a new wing
Motts said he plans to open a new, 5,200 square foot wing at the southwest corner of the existing museum in 2014.
“This will double the size of the museum,” said Motts.
He said the new wing will feature exhibits from the Korean War to the war in Iraq, as well as displays on POW’s (prisoners-of-war), women in the military, the 82nd Airborne, M.A.S.H. (mobile army surgical hospitals) units, NASA from the 1950s to the Space Shuttle, and the Cold War.
“There will even be pieces of the Berlin Wall, that I chiseled off myself, in the Cold War exhibit,” said Motts.
9/11 building planned
Motts said money is being raised through donations to fund the construction of an approximately 5,000 square foot building at the northwest corner of the existing museum to house the museum’s extensive collection of artifacts from the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., on Sept. 11, 2001.
“We have the largest collection of 9/11 artifacts outside of Ground Zero in New York,” said Motts.
Among the 9/11 artifacts the museum possesses are: a piece of the damaged superstructure from the Pentagon; a 20-foot piece of the antenna from the North Tower of the World Trade Center; damaged police vehicles; a large directional sign from the World Trade Center; marble slabs from the World Trade Center; flags and much more.
Motts said a focal point of the 9/11 building’s displays will be Ladder Truck 18 from the Fort Pitt Fire Station of the Fire Department of New York. The truck, which was smashed by debris during the attack, is a 1999 Model Seagrave that is approximately 41-feet long and weighs about 28,000 pounds.
“We want to leave all the dust and damage as is so people can see what happened to this truck and appreciate what the firefighters who manned it went through,” said Motts.
Motts said the original estimate to build the 9/11 building was $550,000. However, he said this cost will be reduced because Ohio union members – including electricians, carpenters, concrete workers and plumbers – have volunteered to donate their labor free to construct the building.
“Now we only need to pay for the materials, such as bricks and mortar and the like,” said Motts.
Motts said the $25,000 per year the city of Groveport is donating to the museum for 10 years is being used toward the purchase of 4 acres of land that border the museum to the north. He said plans are to eventually expand the museum and build a theater/auditorium on the site.