WAYNESBORO, Va. (WHSV) -- The city of Waynesboro reached an important step in bringing a new museum to the Valley.
Empty storefronts on Main Street show a downtown development still in progress; however, on Thursday, the city took a big step closer to something that could soon bring more people to the city's sidewalks.
"We're going to be part of the wonderful renaissance of Waynesboro," said Joe Keiper, the executive director of the Virginia Museum of Natural History.
The museum and the city announced they've raised the $50,000 they needed for a master plan for the proposed location downtown.
Half of that money came from folks and businesses in Waynesboro, while the city is paying the other half.
"People here, once they get hold of an idea, they really run with it. That was demonstrated with the raising of $25,000 so quickly," said Greg Hitchin, the city's director of economic development.
City leaders say the museum will help make Waynesboro a destination. Building on the area's natural resources and other draws to bring more people downtown.
"There is so much going on that is helping to drive the economic re-development. We think, as a tourism draw, we can be a part of that," said Keiper.
Keiper said this $50,000 milestone makes the future Waynesboro museum reality no longer just an idea. He hopes to unveil the drawings and plans for the museum early next year and if all goes well, construction could begin in 2017.
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