- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 11, 2014

SEWARD, Neb. (AP) - The Nebraska National Guard’s museum pieces will be moving from the former state fairgrounds in Lincoln to a new home at the old Guard armory in Seward.

The head of the Nebraska Guard, Maj. Gen. Daryl Bohac, and Seward Mayor Josh Eickmeier announced the project on Monday. Bohac said the museum “will provide an opportunity to tell the rich history of the Nebraska National Guard.”

The former National Guard armory in Seward will be turned into the museum by summer 2015, with work planned for three phases. The cost is estimated at $250,000.

The museum pieces have been stored in the State Arsenal Museum on what was State Fair Park in Lincoln and have been available to the public only during the State Fair. The building is being vacated for construction of the University of Nebraska’s Innovation Campus. The State Fair has moved to Fonner Park in Grand Island.

The Seward museum will be open daily.

Gerald “Jerry” Meyer, president of the Nebraska National Guard Historical Association, said the Seward site will provide more space for display and artifact storage than the Lincoln site.

Wahoo, Fremont and Nebraska City were also considered for the museum, but officials said they chose Seward because the armory was the most suitable building available. Officials also noted the city’s Fourth of July celebration draws thousands of people every year.

Since 1956 the Seward armory has been the primary training center for the Seward-based Army Guard soldiers. In March the units will move to a new training site in Mead. The Mead site will station the Guard’s Detachment 2, 165th Quartermaster Company nearer to skydiving drop zones and a soon-to-be-built facility to provide rigging services for personnel and cargo parachutes.

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