Larry Toves, Guam Economic Development Authority Project Coordinator, states that the new Guam Museum is slated to open by the third quarter this year. One of the reasons for the delay is because of foundation problems. According to Guam legislative records, the site where the museum is located was once swampland in the Hagåtña area. Issues with pile foundations, which are concrete columns driven into the ground to support a structure that would be built on weak soil layers, caused the delay. “It has taken time to bring the piles into compliance with the specifications and requirements,” said Toves.
The Guam Museum was founded by the by America Legion Mid-Pacific Post 1 in 1933. In December of 1941 Guam was invaded by Japanese forces and occupied until 1944. the original museum building, along with most of its collection, was destroyed during the 1944 Battle of Guam in July-August, 1944. No new permanent museum building was constructed during the post-World War II period until 2006 when initial plans for a permanent, modern museum building were first unveiled.
On February 5, 2013, a groundbreaking ceremony was held for a new, $27 million permanent home for the Guam Museum. Construction on the facility, which will house artifacts spanning the island’s 3,000 year history, is being funded by the Hotel Occupancy Tax bond that was established by the Public Law 30-228.
The new museum is tentatively slated to be called the Guam and Chamorro Educational Facility.
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An artist’s rendition of what the front of the Guam Museum will look like