Valdez, Alaska, January 22, 2020 – Members of the Valdez City Council met in a work session on January 16, 2020 to focus on choosing a building site for the new museum facility. It was a round table discussion between the Board and Staff of the Valdez Museum and Historical Archive (VMHA) with roughly 20 audience members in the Council Chambers.

Nathan Duval, City Capital Facilities Director, gave a high level overview of the New Museum Project, a multi-year process to narrow down the original 20 plus proposed building sites to three finalists. He said the Anchorage architectural firm ECI then examined the needs and wants connected with each of the three sites. This past summer the Museum launched an Outreach Plan to determine the community’s sentiments toward building a new museum and where it should be located. After seeking public input via surveys and person to person contacts no clear winner for a preferred building site emerged. A fourth, site X, that entails a remodel and expansion of the existing museum location was subsequently re-introduced.

During Mr. Duval’s presentation City Council members had the option of posing questions to Museum Board and staff. Audience members were also invited to comment, showing clear support for site X and revitalization of the downtown core.

Museum Director Patricia Relay said the first step is to choose a building site; that will lead to a conceptual design and trigger the fundraising process:

“We are nearly one year into the Memorandum of Understanding between the Museum and City which outlines a 50% match in funding to build the new museum facility and we need something to show potential funders.”

In conclusion, City Mayor Jeremy O’Neil recommended to Council that site X be chosen as the preferred building site and placed on the agenda for consideration at the regular City Council meeting on Feb. 4, 2020. Council members present were in agreement and the Work Session was adjourned.

By working together the VMHA and City of Valdez have taken a positive step toward reaching the long held goal of housing all the Museum’s collections and exhibits in one facility.

For more information contact:

Executive Director Patricia Relay                                                   

Tel. 907-835-2764, Email: