Could the Rock Island Arsenal Museum, the second oldest army museum in the United States, move off the installation?
Some local leaders say it's time for an upgrade.
"The challenge with Rock Island Arsenal Museum is relatively small," says Joe Taylor, President of the Quad Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau. "It's in the middle of the island and you have to go through security to get there."
Taylor says he's been fighting for years to see a new Arsenal Museum that's easier for visitors to access.
"I think it would be great for a tourism destination, great for our economic development and great for community pride," he adds.
Taylor envisions a situation similar to Fort Bragg, who built their museum offsite and in the nearby downtown area.
"It's really an anchor for visiting Fayetteville, North Carolina," he explains. "It's really a point of gathering for their community."
Fort Bragg's Airborne and Special Operations Museum averages around 175,000 visitors a year; the Arsenal Museum averages around 25,000.
But Arsenal leaders say a major move like that doesn't happen quickly. Right now, the museum avoids many costs like rent, utilities and IT support through the help of the garrison. However Taylor says with the help of the community, the idea deserves a closer look.
"We should start looking at opportunities," Taylor says. "It's going to take a while, it's going to take dollars, but I don't think it cannot be done if we give it enough time and start thinking about how we would accomplish that now."
And Joe Taylor isn't alone; Illinois State Senator Mike Jacobs says a new museum could be a real tourism draw.
"I think this could be something that's a real feather in our cap and I really encourage the federal government to take a look at this operation here and this museum," says Jacobs.
Jacobs adds that a more visible museum could help bridge the gap between civilians and military.
So where does the arsenal stand on such a move?
They're not able to comment one way or the other since a move like this would not be a local decision.
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