The groundbreaking for the Pritzker Archives and Memorial Park Center will be a virtual event due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The public is invited to visit the website where officials present the 288-acre project in a video.
“Putting the health and safety of our neighbors first, as well as regarding state and local COVID-19 safety protocols, we’ve transformed our previously planned in-person groundbreaking event into a virtual community celebration,” said Rob Havers, president and CEO of the Pritzker Military Museum and Library in press release. “It was important for us to find a way to share the vision for the PAMPC with the Village of Somers, because their input on this project is vital and we want our new neighbors engaged every step of the way.”
To mark the groundbreaking, the developer sent neighbors a postcard in the mail titled “Putting Down Roots” that gives information about the project. The postcard can be planted in sunny spot in your yard as is contains wildflower seeds. Make sure to bury the card under an inch or two of soil.
The virtual initiative will continue until Veterans Day. Some residents neighboring the property will receive a book about the project from the developer. The Pritzker Military Foundation will also donate flags to residents to be picked up at the David Leet American Legion Post 552, 8229 12th St., at a date and time to be announced.
The Pritzker Archives and Memorial Park project was created to house artifacts that could no longer fit in the Chicago location. The new state-of-the-art archives will provide space to restore, preserve and house collections that include books, artifacts and other historical materials, PAMPC staff said.
The project will be completed in phases over 10 years. The first phase of the project will include the Pritzker Military Archives Center, designed by JAHN, an award-winning, internationally recognized architectural firm, along with the surrounding community green space.
Within the archives center will be a 9,400-square-foot gallery.
The project will continue with the Midwest Firearms Education & Training Center and Cold War Veterans Memorial. The project will also include commercial archives storage, which will be built based on demand.
The construction will be led by Pepper/Riley Construction and TAWANI Development. It is set to begin at the end of October.
Fewer than 7 percent of the total 288 acres will feature buildings, the rest will be green space, including 7,440 feet of walking paths. Wetlands will remain undisturbed and buildings will be energy efficient and utilize solar panels and rainwater collection for re-use, PAMPC staff said.
“The development of this project is critical for our economy,” said Missy Hughes, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. secretary and CEO. “Various communities in Wisconsin depend on tourism to bring revenue. Having a special project like this in a unique village and town like Somers gives us the opportunity to draw new visitors that will help our community prosper.”