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U.S. senator joining push to fully open Eisenhower Museum campus in Abilene

Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 5:31 PM CDT
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ABILENE, Kan. (KWCH) - If you plan to take a trip to Abilene this summer to see the renovated Dwight D. Eisenhower Museum, you may not get to see everything on campus. Some of the facilities are still closed due to COVID-19 restrictions and staffing issues. U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, made the trip to Abilene on Friday, June 11 to see what he can do toward helping the museum campus fully reopen.

The museum and Place of Meditation are open under limited hours, four days per week. The boyhood home of the 34th U.S. president, the visitors center and the presidential library are closed. It’s something Senator Moran and those with the facility are trying to change.

“Another aspect is groups coming and at the moment, that’s not possible,” Moran said.

The senator’s focus with Friday’s visit was to learn about what he can do to push those in Washington, D.C. to fully reopen the campus.

“Some progress (is) being made, but my goal is to get the attention of the National Archives (and Records Administration) and the office of management and budget because they put the policies in place that in my view, don’t make sense for Abilene, Kansas, not a national standard,” Moran said. “What can happen here is different than what can happen in a city (in) another location. “(We are) looking for a little common sense to speed the progress along.”

Abilene Mayor Brandon Rein said the museum not being fully open puts a strain on the community and the economy.

“It puts Abilene even more on the map, it gets tourism to come in. It’s just huge for our town,” Rein said.

There is some good news. Recently, Eisenhower’s childhood home was approved for renovations. While that portion of the campus will be closed for future preservation work, it will keep the more-than-120-year-old home in good condition for visitors to keep coming back.

“I want to get people back to Abilene I want them to see the Eisenhower Museum,” Moran said.

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