March 21, 2002



I wish to thank the committee for the opportunity to appear today to discuss the implementation of the approved General Management Plan (GMP) for Gettysburg National Military Park which includes our partnership with the non-profit Gettysburg National Battlefield Museum Foundation to fund, design, build and operate a new museum and visitor center at Gettysburg National Military Park.  I understand that the Committee has concerns about the newly forecasted cost of this project and the fact that they are more than double the original cost estimates of these facilities as articulated in the final GMP.


Gettysburg National Military Park


The mission of Gettysburg National Military Park is to preserve and protect the resources associated with the Battle of Gettysburg and the Soldiers' National Cemetery, and to provide understanding of the events that occurred here, within the context of American history.


The park was established on February 11, 1895, and includes the National Cemetery, and 6,000 acres of historic farmhouses, barns, fences, orchards, earthworks, roads, wood lots, and other key features of the battlefield.


Gettysburg is the most visited Civil War site in the National Park System, and has attracted an average of 1.8 million visitors per year over the past eight years.


The General Management Plan and Public Involvement


By law and policy, the NPS planning process provides opportunities for public involvement in the creation of a general management plan.  For Gettysburg NMP, public involvement in the planning process began in March of 1995 and ended in April 1999.  During this four-year period, the NPS provided the public with opportunities to comment at over 50 public meetings and open houses and asked for comments in four newsletters. A draft and final plan was sent to a nationwide mailing list of 3,800 members of the public.


During the four-year planning process, the NPS received over 3,700 written comments from the public.  Of these, more than 85% of the respondents favored the NPS proposal to rehabilitate the battlefield landscape to its historic condition and to form a public-private partnership to provide the NPS and its visitors with much-needed facilities (11.5% were opposed, and 2.7% were undecided).  Many of those who favored the proposal noted that it offered a way to build new facilities without reliance upon appropriated funds. 


In November 1999 the Northeast Regional Director of the NPS signed the Record of Decision for the General Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement.  This marked the completion of the legal and regulatory requirements for the NPS planning process and final approval of the GMP for Gettysburg NMP.  The approved final plan, containing a new vision for the entire battlefield, has received widespread support from historians, historic preservationists, Civil War enthusiasts and the general public. 


In light of concerns raised by this Committee and others, regarding the change in cost and size of the project, the National Park Service is willing to review the 1999 General Management Plan for Gettysburg NMP. 



Implementation of the General Management Plan


Since the last hearing held by this committee on this matter, the National Park Service has taken a number of steps to implement the General Management Plan for Gettysburg.


The Borough of Gettysburg Interpretive Plan – Concurrent with the approval of the park's GMP, the NPS funded the development of an Interpretive Plan for the Borough of Gettysburg.  This plan, developed in cooperation with the Borough of Gettysburg, the Chamber of Commerce, Gettysburg College and six other local organizations, was approved in November 2000.  The purpose of the plan is to


Help those who visit Gettysburg appreciate its history by telling the story of its people, of their lives during the Civil War, and of their role in the Battle's aftermath and commemoration.  In doing so, the plan will help preserve the Borough's historic buildings and sites and bolster the economic health of the town. (Borough of Gettysburg Interpretive Plan, p. 2)


In November, 2001, seven local organizations and institutions joined with the NPS and the Borough of Gettysburg in a Memorandum of Agreement for the implementation of this Interpretive Plan.  To date, our progress includes:

·        the Borough's purchase of the Wills House - where President Lincoln spent the night before delivering the Gettysburg Address - with grant assistance from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided by former Governor Ridge;

·        inclusion of the Wills House in the NPS boundary through Public Law 106-290;

·        preparation of an historic structure report and preliminary design for the Wills House, with funding provided by the NPS, for rehabilitation as a Lincoln Museum;

·        acquisition of the Lincoln Train Station - where Lincoln arrived in Gettysburg - by the Borough of Gettysburg;

·        preparation of an historic structure report and design documents for the rehabilitation of the Lincoln Train Station as a downtown information and orientation center;

·        completion of a Phase I Alternate Transportation Study, using NPS TEA-21 funds, for a potential shuttle system to connect the NPS museum/visitor center to downtown Gettysburg, with Phase II studies underway; and

·        agreement to use the first floor of the Wills House as a downtown welcome center by the Borough of Gettysburg, the Gettysburg National Battlefield Museum Foundation, and the Friends of the National Parks at Gettysburg, during the rehabilitation of the Train Station.


Rehabilitation of Battlefield Landscapes - In July 2001, the NPS initiated this long-range project as called for in the approved park General Management Plan, which will rehabilitate areas of the battlefield where major battles took place so that they more closely resemble their 1863 appearance.  As a result, visitors will be able to see the battlefield as the soldiers did at the time of the battle, understand the reasons that Generals made their decisions, and understand the experiences of the soldiers in carrying out those decisions.  The landscape rehabilitation process will also improve wetlands, water quality and wildlife habitat throughout the 6,000-acre battlefield.


Partnership with the Gettysburg National Battlefield Museum Foundation


Gettysburg’s GMP calls for a major partnership with the non-profit Gettysburg National Battlefield Museum Foundation, for the fund-raising, design, construction, and operation of a new museum and visitor center for the park.  The project’s goals are:


·        Protection of the park’s collection of 38,000 artifacts and 700,000 archival documents and historic photographs, one of the largest and most significant Civil War era collections in the nation.  New facilities are needed to provide permanent protection, preservation and display of the collections.


·        Preservation treatment of the Cyclorama painting to stop the continued deterioration of the largest and one of the most significant objects in the collection, a colossal painting illustrating Pickett’s Charge, measuring 26 feet by 370 feet.  The painting is designated a National Historic Object.  New facilities are needed to provide permanent protection, preservation and display of the painting.


·        Provision of high-quality interpretation and educational opportunities for park visitors, with new exhibits and broader interpretation that will provide visitors with an understanding of the Gettysburg Campaign within the broad context of the Civil War and American history, as mandated twice by the Congress.

(Public Law 101-377, "An Act to revise the boundary of Gettysburg National Military Park," in 1990 directed the National Park Service (NPS) to "take such action as is necessary and appropriate to interpret, for the benefit of visitors to the park and the general public, the Battle of Gettysburg in the larger context of the Civil War and American history, including the causes and consequences of the Civil War and including the effects of the war on all the American people." ) 


(The Department of the Interior FY2000 Appropriations: Joint Explanatory Statement of the Committee of the Conference," Title I, p. 96.  U.S. Congress, 1999, stated "…Civil War battlefields throughout the country hold great significance and provide vital historic educational opportunities for millions of Americans.  The managers are concerned, however…the Civil War battlefields are often weak or missing vital information about the role that the institution of slavery played in causing the American Civil War.  The managers direct the Secretary of the Interior to encourage Civil War battle sites to recognize and include in all of their public displays and multi-media educational presentations the unique role that the institution of slavery played in causing the Civil War and its role, if any, at the individual battle sites.)


·        Rehabilitation of the historic landscapes of the Union battle lines of July 2 and 3, 1863, by removal of current visitor facilities and parking lots from the Union battle line at Cemetery Ridge, where 34 Union regiments fought and over 970 soldiers were killed, wounded, or captured during the Battle of Gettysburg. 


The current partnership agreement includes not only design and construction of the new facilities, infrastructure, roads and parking, but also the design and installation of the museum exhibits, land acquisition for the new complex, the restoration and relocation of the historic Cyclorama painting, removal of current visitor facilities and associated roads and parking, restoration of the historic landscapes of Cemetery Ridge, relocation of NPS collections, equipment and furnishings to the new complex, a $10 million endowment for the maintaining and operating the facility, and the Foundation's administrative and fundraising costs. The Foundation’s fundraising campaign is now underway.


The Foundation expects to break ground for the facility in early 2004, with the project completed in early 2006.  The current facilities will be demolished at that time and the historic landscape restoration will begin that same year.


Museum Foundation Progress To Date


On June 30, 2000, following nine months of review through the NPS and the Department of the Interior, the Director of the NPS approved the General Agreement and the Fundraising Agreement with the Gettysburg National Battlefield Museum Foundation.


In July, 2000, the Museum Foundation created the Gettysburg Museum Advisory Committee to advise the Foundation on the exhibit design and story line for the new museum.  The advisory committee includes several nationally renowned scholars.


On October 24, 2000, the Museum Foundation announced its selection of Robert C. Wilburn as its first President.  Mr. Wilburn is the former President and CEO of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, former President and CEO of the Carnegie Institute, a two-term Cabinet Secretary under Governor Dick Thornburgh of Pennsylvania, and has extensive experience and qualifications in economics, education, preservation, and the non-profit world.  In particular, Mr. Wilburn was successful in raising $150 million in donations and gifts for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation during his tenure there.


In November 2000, the Museum Foundation submitted its Fundraising and Financial Management Plan to the NPS.  Following comments by the NPS and revisions by the Museum Foundation, the NPS approved the Foundation’s fundraising plan on December 19, 2000.


In April 2001, the Museum Foundation completed a Fundraising Feasibility study.  Based upon interviews with over 60 individuals and potential supporters, the study identified 27 prospects with the capacity to give at the $5 million level and another 25 who could give at the $1 million level.   


The Museum Foundation initiated their public fundraising campaign for the museum and visitor center in January of this year.  As of March 7, 2002, the Museum Foundation has reported to the NPS that it has raised $8.38 million in donations, which includes a $5 million donation from Mr. Kinsley and a $2.5 million appropriation from Congress for the conservation of the Cyclorama.  The museum partnership has been designed to work with 100% donated funds; we do not intend to seek from Congress any appropriated funds.


In July 2001, after a nationwide search and competition, the Museum Foundation selected the design team for the new facilities.  Cooper, Robertson & Partners of New York were selected as project architects, due to their highly praised work at Monticello, Charleston (SC), the Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and the Lincoln Center in NYC.  Gallagher & Associates of Washington, D.C., was chosen as the exhibit design firm, based upon its acclaimed exhibit designs for the Smithsonian Institute, the Museum of Jewish Heritage (NPC), the Canyon Visitor Center at Yellowstone National Park, and the Maryland Museum of African American History and Culture in Baltimore. 


On January 11, 2002, after six months of intensive work by the design team, the Museum Foundation and the NPS, the Foundation released the conceptual design for the new museum and visitor center.  The site design was laid out to take maximum advantage of the natural topography and to protect natural ecosystems (such as wetlands).  The exhibit design fully complies with the Congressional direction to provide interpretation of the Battle of Gettysburg within the context of the causes and consequences of the Civil War, and was approved by the Gettysburg Museum Advisory Committee.  The architectural design is carefully suited to the rural agricultural landscapes of the Gettysburg area and has been widely praised by the public.


Cost and Space Comparisons


For the record, I offer the following explanation of the changes in the size, scope and estimated cost on this project as provided to me by NPS personnel.


The 1998 draft General Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement, produced by the NPS, estimated that the new museum/visitor center facility would be approximately 118,000 square feet.  The GMP also estimated that the Foundation would need approximately $39 million to accomplish the goals described in the GMP.  In January 2002, based upon completed conceptual design and other factors, the Museum Foundation announced that the new facilities would be approximately 139,000 square feet in size, and that the Foundation had established $95 million as its total project budget. 


Although the size of the new facility and the cost of the partnership have increased as a result of the completed conceptual design, none of the components or functions of the complex, as described on pp. 87-92 of the GMP, have changed.  The proposed new museum/visitor center for Gettysburg NMP will provide visitor services and collection storage just as described in the GMP.  The conceptual design for the complex does not add any new functions or components to the facility that were not discussed with the public and described in the GMP.  As a result of these changes, NPS personnel believe the actions described in the GMP will be accomplished at a higher level of quality and commitment to the preservation of park resources and the enjoyment of park visitors.


In accordance with the agreement between the NPS and the Museum Foundation, the NPS has complete review and approval authority over all elements of the design, construction, and operations of the new complex. In particular, the same NPS design, review, and approval processes will be followed for this project as are followed for all NPS construction projects funded by Congressional appropriations. As part of this review and approval process, the Museum Foundation will perform value engineering analysis for the proposed project, and will submit design documents to the NPS Development Advisory Board for review and approval.


The GMP for Gettysburg NMP stated, in discussing the estimated costs of each alternative considered, that "the costs provided in this appendix are indicative of the capital and operational costs of implementing the alternatives.  They are provided so that reviewers can compare the general costs and benefits of the GMP alternatives.  Specific costs for construction and operation would be determined for individual actions after detailed designs are produced."


This language is in conformance with NPS Special Directive 87-1, "Development of Costs Estimates for General Management Plans, Development Concept Plans, and Special Studies," which states:


Section 604 of Public Law 95-625 requires General Management Plans to indicate types and general intensities of development including general locations, timing of implementation and anticipated costs…The Service has made a commitment to OMB and the Department that these estimates are used to compare the cost of alternatives presented in the plans and not for budgetary purposes…Estimates for advanced and project planning to support a proposed construction item will be provided separately.


As articulated in the GMP, and in accordance with Special Directive 87-1, the Museum Foundation and the NPS released revised cost estimates for the partnership project upon the completion of the conceptual design.  In brief, the increase in the project's budget may be attributed to four general factors; a detailed project budget comparison and square footage comparison is attached to our testimony.


General inflation.  In the four years since the NPS and the Museum Foundation signed the Letter of Intent in 1998 inflation has increased all costs across the board.  In addition, the Museum Foundation has programmed its costs ahead to the proposed year of construction in 2004, which the NPS had not done in the GMP.  Increased costs due to inflation are approximately $7.6 million.


Increased Space.  During the process of completing the conceptual design, the project design team, composed of the NPS, the Museum Foundation, and the contracted architectural firms, proposed additional space.  In particular, the Foundation agreed to expand the museum exhibit space through the addition of a transition gallery, provision for "open storage" of artifacts, and two interactive resource centers (data banks) for visitor use.  By recommendation of the design team, "circulation" space throughout the museum complex was increased across-the-board, in order to provide a more peaceful and reflective museum experience for visitors.  Administrative space for Museum Foundation staff was added to the building's program.  Design, construction, and exhibit installation costs increased, proportionally, with the increase in the building's envelope. The estimate of the increased cost over the GMP estimate is approximately $8.5 million. 


Enhanced Exhibits and Visitor Experience.  Throughout the conceptual design process, the Museum Foundation exhibited an exceptional dedication to quality and in numerous cases, agreed to take on the fundraising burden of accomplishing more than is required by the partnership agreement.  For example, the GMP requires the restoration of the existing Cyclorama Painting, and the plan expressed the hope that the missing historic diorama could be restored "if possible."  The Museum Foundation has not only made the commitment to restore the missing three-dimensional historic diorama which accompanied the original painting, but has also made the commitment to represent the sky which is missing from the original painting - both at considerable extra costs.  In addition, the Museum Foundation made the commitment to include "open storage" areas in the new museum complex, which was not required by the project agreement, so that the public could see more of the park’s extensive collection of Civil War artifacts. 


Other issues which the Foundation intends to address, which are enhancements beyond the original partnership agreements include: additional access roads, overflow parking, picnic facilities, walking trails, furnishings, film production, and additional costs in the remediation of the current visitor center site.  The total cost of the additional enhancements and projects over the original GMP estimate is approximately $19.6 million.


Fundraising and Endowment.  The NPS estimates in the GMP did not include the cost of fundraising; rather, NPS estimates were based upon funds required to accomplish the partnership goals, such as land acquisition and construction.  In keeping with standard practice in non-profit fundraising, the Museum Foundation includes approximately $10 million for administrative and fundraising costs in the project budget.  Finally, above and beyond the requirements of the project agreement, the Museum Foundation informed the NPS that it would like to include an endowment of $10 million in the project budget, to be used for ongoing facility maintenance and preservation of the park's collections.


Future Activities


With the conceptual design for the complex now complete, the Museum Foundation will concentrate heavily upon fundraising for the near future.  In the meantime, the Foundation has released a Request for Proposals for a consultant to prepare the condition assessment and treatment plan for the conservation and relocation of the Cyclorama Painting.


If fundraising is as successful as anticipated, the Foundation has announced that it plans to break ground for the new complex in 2004.  Construction and installation of exhibits would be expected to take approximately two years, which would indicate an opening date in 2006.  Following the relocation of NPS collections, furnishings and materials from the current visitor facilities into the new complex, restoration of the historic landscape of Seminary Ridge would take place in 2007.


In accordance with Director's Order #21, "Donations and Fundraising," the Museum Foundation may not break ground for construction until it has "sufficient…funds in hand to complete the work so that it is usable."  As a result, the Foundation will not start construction until the Foundation and the NPS are mutually assured that sufficient funds have been secured.  


Estimates based on an actual design, inflation, fundraising costs, and a number of enhancements that the Museum Foundation has agreed to fund, has increased the estimated cost of the project by $56 million.  I understand the concerns the Committee may have about the foundation’s ability to reach the new fund raising goal in a timely manner.  While it is anticipated that groundbreaking may take place in 2004, let me assure you that construction will not begin until there sufficient funds in hand to complete the planned construction project.


 Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for this opportunity to testify and we would be most happy to answer any questions the Committee may have for us.







Project Budget Comparison - 1998 to 2004


The following is a comparison of the cost estimates associated with the partnership between the National Park Service and Gettysburg National Battlefield Museum Foundation.  The cost estimates are for the entire partnership project, which includes design and construction of a new museum and visitor center facility which will incorporate new collections storage, museum and visitor center space with interpretive exhibits and venues as described in the park's General Management Plan; restoration of the Cyclorama Painting," demolition of existing visitor facilities and their associated roads and parking, restoration of the historic landscape of the current visitor center areas, and relocation of NPS personnel, equipment, furnishings and collections into the new facility.  


The 1998 estimates are taken from the GNMP General Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement, which cautions that:


This GMP is programmatic:  that is, it gives guidance in the form of management prescriptions for future decision making regarding resource protection, interpretation, public use and development, but it does not elaborate on the details of the definitive actions.  Therefore, the costs provided in this appendix are indicative of the capital and operational costs of implementing the alternatives.  They are provided so that reviewers can compare the general costs and benefits of the GMP alternatives.  Specific costs for construction and operation would be determined for individual actions after detailed designs are produced. (p. 336, italics added)


As promised, the conceptual phase of design has now been completed.  The 2004 estimates below are taken from the completed conceptual design for the project.



                                                                1998 Cost Estimate               2004 Cost Estimate               Change


Land Acquisition                 $ 4,250,000                             $  3,968,531                            -$     281,469


The Foundation has acquired all the land necessary for successful completion of the project.  They have a $700,000 reserve in the land acquisition budget, in case there is an opportunity to acquire and protect more property immediately adjacent to the museum entrance on Baltimore Pike.


Design Services                                  $  3,600,000                            $  6,440,000                            +$  2,840,000


Design services includes architectural, engineering, and exhibit design fees, as well as required consultant services for traffic studies, wetland mitigation, archeological surveys, etc.  Fees have increased due to inflationary factors between 1998 and 2001 when the design team was hired, the quality of the design team engaged, the addition of painting conservators consulting fees for the restoration of the Cyclorama Painting, and the Foundation's agreement to absorb site design costs for both Foundation and NPS-owned lands effected by the project.


Museum/VC Construction                $20,684,299                            $34,000,000                            +$13,315,701


Museum/VC cost estimates have increased due to inflationary factors between 1998 and 2004; additional exhibit space for transition gallery, temporary exhibits and interactive resource centers; additional visitor  circulation space within the museum/VC as advised by the design team (see Breakdown of Square Footage of New Facility); and the proposed use of native stone and timber materials for exterior construction (instead of brick).


Exhibits, Displays, Cyclorama Painting

Restoration, Diorama Restoration, 

& Relocation of NPS Collections     $  5,000,000                            $12,100,000                            +$  7,100,000


Exhibit costs have increased due to the Foundation's agreement to add the missing historic diorama and skyspace back into the Cyclorama Painting; increased cost estimates for restoration of the Cyclorama Painting, expanded exhibit gallery space as above; and the Foundation's agreement to add "open storage" space to the complex in order to allow visitors to see more of the park's artifact collection.


Offsite Improvements                         $ 1,075,000                             $  5,500,000                            +$ 4,425,000


Offsite Improvements include utility and road installation and connection into the Foundation property.  Costs have increased due to the Foundation's agreement to provide an entry/exit road across NPS land, additional improved overflow parking on NPS land, additional picnic facilities and walking trails, and to restore much of the adjacent NPS land to its historic appearance.


Building Fit-Out                                                  0                              $  5,000,000                            +$ 5,000,000


Building Fit Out includes general interior design work and furnishing costs for the theater, food service and museum/bookstore.  The 1998 estimate presumed that building fit-out would be a responsibility of the operators of these venues.  Since this would result in passing the cost of fit-out on to future park visitors, the Foundation has determined that it would rather add these costs to the fund-raising budget, in order to keep visitor fees as low as possible.


Film Production                                                   0                              $  1,000,000                            +$  1,000,000

As above, the 1998 estimate presumed that the operator of the theater would absorb the costs of film production, and pass the cost on to visitors.  As above, the Foundation has determined that it would rather add these costs to the fund-raising budget, in order to keep visitor fees as low as possible.


Ziegler's Grove Demolition &

Landscape Restoration                       $  1,400,000                            $  4,000,000                            +$  2,600,000


Costs to remove the current visitor facilities have increased due to better estimates of the costs of removing of hazardous materials imbedded in the building construction, and the suspected existence of a former town dump underneath a portion of a parking lot.


Other Related Costs & Fees             $     575,000                            $     459,119                            -$      115,881


Includes loan fees, appraisals, title insurance, real estate taxes, etc.


Interest                                                  $  2,700,000                            $  2,475,000                            -$      225,000


Expected interest cost on loans throughout the life of the project.


Endowment                                                            0                              $10,000,000                            +$10,000,000


The 1998 budget did not include an endowment.  The Foundation has proposed, and the NPS has agreed, to provide an endowment to be used to assist with ongoing annual building maintenance and preservation of the park's collection of Civil War artifacts.


Administrative & Fundraising

Costs                                                                      0                              $10,071,305                            +$10,071,305


Includes fundraising and external relations efforts, foundation staff salaries, and office and administrative costs.  The 1998 estimate did not include these costs, but was based upon the "net" required fundraising (i.e., the net fundraising required for the project, after the costs of fundraising had been reimbursed.)  The Foundation has proposed, and the NPS agreed, that the cost of fund-raising should be shown as part of the overall project budget.


Project Totals                                      $39,284,299                         $95,013,955                         +$55,729,656


GNBMF Museum & Visitor Center










March 6, 2002










The following is an area comparison between the GMP and current architectural floor areas.













Proposed 1997

GMP 1999








Welcome Center / Circulation





Guide Tour Center

Included above


included above












Library/ Research/Archives/Circulation










IMAX Theater










Book/Museum Store





Natl’ Geographic Store





Civil War Arts &Crafts Gallery





Gift Store










Food Service



4, 500






















*Includes new space not previously programmed: transition gallery space, temporary exhibit galleries and two interactive resource centers