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USS YORKTOWN to get hi-tech $5m upgrade
Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:40pm

The USS Yorktown is one of the top attractions in the Lowcountry, but in recent years there have been financial struggles to keep the ship afloat.

On Friday, the group that runs the museum revealed a huge overhaul of the Yorktown. It's one they hope will attract a new generation of visitors. The goal is to 'bring the ship to life', once again.

"This is a complete transformation; it hasn't been done before," said Mac Burdette, Executive Director of the Patriots Point Development Authority.

The ship will go through a multi-million dollar upgrade that will help keep the historic vessel modern and current.

"We will tell the same stories of our sailors and airmen. The mission has not changed, but the delivery system is going to be all together different over the next 5 years," said Burdette.
The idea, 9 months in the making was revealed by Matt Kirchman, Principal Planner of The Musaic Design Group. He took board members on a journey through the future.

Kirchman said, "We worked with the knowledge of what goes on here and the knowledge of what goes on in important museums all around the world to develop a new plan."

From holograms that speak to visitors, to touch screens and real life sound effects, all this to make the 76 year old ship appeal to younger generations.

Susan Marlowe, Chairman of the Museum and Education Committee for the board said, "This thing was out at sea, it was dangerous, they were at war and they didn't know what was going to hit them underneath the water or above in the sky. That's the goal. It's to make them experience what these soldiers did and what these Navy guys did."

The hangar deck is where the renovations will be done. A large space near the front of the ship will be transformed into a state-of-the-art multi-use theater. Viewers will be able to not only watch the past, but interact with it.

Marlowe said, "It will be able to serve people who have in-depth interest in history and it will also be able to entertain and serve the children who are really technology savvy now and that's their interest."

The board hopes these upgrades will make for a fresh and exciting history lesson.

They plan to have a prototype of what's to come set up on the USS Laffey. That project is being paid for with grant money and will cost about $10,000.

Copyright 2013 WCSC. All rights reserved.

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