I am thrilled to announce that at the May 24 Irvine City Council meeting, the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) was approved, and it was signed on May 26!
Several of our Advisory Board members and representatives from the El Toro Marine Corps League Detachment addressed the Council, providing their support and endorsement of approving the MOU. It has taken us several months and the work of many dedicated individuals to reach this point, but we now have a formal agreement allowing us to move forward with the relocation of the museum to Great Park. I want to personally thank all those who have provided their support and assistance.
Moving forward we will be working with the City of Irvine staff to develop a detailed plan for the restoration and refurbishment of Hangar 296, the museum’s new home. We already have a preliminary statement of work (SOW) that will be the basis for the development of a request for proposal from prospective contractors. It will also delineate the City and Foundation’s specific responsibilities for the buildout of the museum. While the SOW is being fined-tuned, we are focused on plans to demolish several sections of the hanger, transport the museum collection, complete a full inspection of the aircraft and list the work required to make all of the aircraft display-ready, identify staff positions and requirements, and develop a major fundraising campaign.
Our immediate need is to increase our monthly revenue to cover current and anticipated expenses over the next 20-24 months. These funds are needed to cover the necessary planning and operating expenses above what is required for the museum build-out of office space, exhibit displays, staff and collection transportation, etc.
We are currently updating our website to a new donation process that will allow our supporters to make donations and become a member of the Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum. Our goal is to increase membership and encourage individuals to either make a one-time donation or sign up for a monthly minimum recurring donation. As soon as the new donation process is in place, I will notify you and ask that you help make the new museum a reality.
Semper Fi, and please continue to follow the museum’s amazing journey.
BGen Michael J. Aguilar, USMC Retired