Museum of Badger Army Ammunition
Closed for Renovation
Our museum is located in Bldg. 207 at the former Badger Army Ammunition Plant. Early in 2014 ownership of this building transferred from the Army to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR). With that change in ownership the building must now meet all current codes for a public building and it does not. As the principle occupant of the building the Badger History Group is partnering with the WDNR to bring the building up to code. These changes are going to take some time and cost money. The Badger History Group has committed to raise $35,000.00 and the WDNR will add additional funds to bring the building up to code and re-open.
Time To Act Is Now
It is the homeliest of structures, probably the least attractive building constructed at Badger. It possesses none of the architectural peculiarities required for propellant production, has no distinctive design flourishes. It’s just a windowless cement block rectangle laid on a concrete slab and sheathed with aluminum siding.
But it’s home. Building 207 has housed the office and archives of Badger History Group for several years. Archivist Verlyn Mueller has created an exhibit area that summarizes the history of the property and has served as the centerpiece of what has been a visitor center in fact if not in name.
All that is about to come to an end unless we who care about collecting, preserving and sharing the story of the Badger property act to prevent it.
When it was built in 1971 - '72, Bldg. 207 was designed to house a main frame computer and sophisticated telecommunications equipment. Access was restricted, security paramount.
A lot has changed since 1972. The building has been opened to the public. State and federal codes, are different. Ownership has been transferred to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
Bldg. 207 does not comply with parts of the current state building code, especially those provisions governing handicap access. Since it cannot allow public access to a building it owns that is in violation of state codes, the WDNR has been forced to close 207 to the public. That meant we had to close the doors of our museum. BHG volunteers can enter to perform archival work, but the general public cannot. See Task List Here
In the long run, WDNR has little interest in 207. It was not designed to be a visitor center and cannot be affordably converted into one. In addition WDNR can take only limited action until the master plan for the Badger property is completed.
At the same time almost every WDNR person who visits, from Secretary Stepp on down, expresses interest in preserving the history of the property and voices respect for what BHG has done.
So WDNR has offered BHG a deal and issued a challenge.
WDNR will provide a limited amount of funding to upgrade Bldg. 207. BHG is expected to raise $35,000 to complete the work.
After the upgrade is completed WDNR will lease 207 to BHG with BHG agreeing to pay the cost of operating the building, roughly $500 a month.
We have our work cut out for us.
We Need Your Help
To pay for our share of the Building 207 Upgrade we have to raise $35,000. So far we have raised $32,000.00, leaving only $3,000.00 to go.
As the World War II worker recruiting poster at left said:
You can help meet that need and join the list of people who have already earned a Priority Rating on the Building 207 Roll of Supporters to be displayed in the Museum of Badger Army Ammunition after we re-open.
Mail your tax-deductible contribution
|Or use the Donate button at right for credit/debit cards.|
Why should you help?
Over 100 landowners, most of them family farmers, sacrificed their homes and land for the Badger plant. Over 50,000 men and women worked here to produce munitions that helped bring America to victory in World War II and in the decades-long Cold War that followed. Ten of those workers died in explosions. The mission of the Badger History Group is to make sure none of those sacrifices is forgotten.
That’s why you should help and that’s why we hope you will.
To learn about us (Badger History Group) and What We Do click here
Question? Contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org 608-448-0244