JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Florida's first naval warship museum could be arriving in Jacksonville as early as January 2018, according to a spokesman for the USS Adams Museum.
Joe Snowburger, with the Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association and CEO of the USS Adams Project, told News4Jax that the group working to bring the warship to Jacksonville has secured about $2.8 million, which was required to help make the ship part of the redesigned Shipyards area.
"Now is the time for the people of Jacksonville to look up and go, 'Oh my goodness! They're really going to pull it off,'" Snowburger said.
Of the ship's 30 years of service patrolling the oceans of the world, Snowburger said, 21 of those years -- the Adams called Mayport home.
He said there are several more steps to go through before the guided missile destroyer could arrive in town.
First, the group is waiting for the dry-dock area for the Adams in Philadelphia to be repaired. Then they will work with the Navy to dry-dock the ship and prepare it for its new home in Jacksonville.
At the same time, the group is working with the city to get the pier and berth at the Shipyards property ready, as well as the required licensing and documentation.
They anticipate the Adams could be in dry dock by the end of November or early December, and they are hoping to have the ship prepared for its journey to Jacksonville by January 2018.
"Our ship will be a showcase to the maritime and military heritage that is Jacksonville," Snowburger said.
The attraction has been in the works for more than seven years. The state of Florida gave a $1 million grant toward the project, and the rest of the $2.8 million needed came from private donations and a line of credit.
For more information on the USS Adams, go to ussadams.com.
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