ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. - Rock Island Arsenal's famed museum - the second oldest in Army inventory - will soon begin a five-year, $2 million renovation project, which was awarded by the U.S. Army Center of Military History.

Renovations will most noticeably affect the exhibit hall - which currently displays 15 percent of the items it has in stock.

Col. Kenneth Tauke, Garrison Commander, RIA, expressed high confidence that the museum would not close because the Arsenal has a commitment from the CMH.

"We look for opportunities where the CMH will add some people and personnel to our museum to make it more robust, and make it more of an educational opportunity for families and children to come and learn about RIA and its military history," Tauke said.

In an effort to preserve, maintain, organize, and properly document museum inventory; the remaining 85 percent will be carefully packaged and shipped to Museum Support Center Anniston-North, Anniston, Ala. Approximately 5 percent is tentatively scheduled for transfer from June 12 - 19.

MSC-A North was stood up in 2015 to manage and long-term store field museum artifact collections that are directed here by the CMH. More than 13,000 items from six Army installations are currently housed there, and MSC-A North is expecting shipments from at least two more in 2017.

The project will allow for more thorough and worthy care, and documentation, of items while not displayed for exhibitions.

The exhibit hall renovations can include artifacts returning for display from MSC-A North. Once the exhibit hall is renovated, artifacts selected for display will be rotated periodically between exhibit and storage as a preservation measure. RIA Museum will have access to their stored items at all times.

Non-military/non-government personnel can gain access to RIA to visit the museum, which is open Tuesday - Saturday, noon to 4:00 p.m., by applying online for a visitors pass or obtaining one from the Visitor Control Center, Moline Gate.

Volunteer opportunities and internships are also available for those interested. See link below for further instructions.