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Union Pacific Railroad lends support to Iowa Transportation Museum Program

The Iowa Transportation Museum is pleased to announce receipt of a grant for $25,000 from the Union Pacific Foundation. Brenda Mainwaring, the Union Pacific Company’s Director of Public Affairs for Iowa and Nebraska, one of Iowa’s and the nation’s leading transportation companies, a company instrumental in our nation’s historic development and success; presented a check to Museum President Gerry Schnepf and other Board members today in Des Moines, Iowa.

The first of the new and rehabilitated buildings serving the Museum at the Spaulding Center for Transportation, at the site of the former Spaulding Carriage and Automotive Works in Grinnell, are about to be completed. They are now prepared to accept and develop exhibits for sharing with Iowans. The Union Pacific Company is helping lead the way by assisting this next step in development of this educational resource, including through the contribution of transportation related exhibit materials with an estimate value of $150,000 for incorporation in the new museum as it moves forward on it mission. Now there is also an opportunity for Iowa transportation companies and interested individuals to join in leading the way by providing significant support in partnering with the Iowa Transportation Museum, helping bring this educational resource to reality. This support will help to complete and open the first phase of the ITM project. Initial planning and engineering for the next phase of additional museum building expansion, estimated to cost over $7.5 million, will begin in the next few months. A grand opening announcement for the current phase will be made in the coming weeks.

“Our history and success in development as a nation and a state is inextricably tied to the development and success of transportation,” said Mr. Schnepf. “The Museum’s mission is to educate Iowans and the nation about the leading role of transportation in our state’s history and in the development of our agriculture, our culture, and our economy. And to educate Iowans and the nation about the roles and contributions of Iowans to transportation, transportation serving Iowa and our nation. Serving them yesterday, today and tomorrow as we look to the future.”

Museum Vice President, Ian MacGillivray indicated “Today, as a nation we are placing increasing emphasis on the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education program in preparing our young people as a national resource and for future careers; this museum is an educational resource which will assist in sharing information about the exciting, rewarding and valuable careers available by putting STEM skills to work in transportation related activities that support all of us. The role models and heroes identified through the Museum’s activities will illustrate many of these career opportunities, and opportunities to contribute to our state and nation.”

Mr. Schnepf also recognized a number of other organizations who have assisted the Museum in getting to this point today, including the Iowa Department of Transportation and the Iowa Transportation Commission, represented by Tammy Nicholson, the DOT’s Director of the Office of Rail Transportation; the Iowa Congressional Delegation; the U.S. Department of Transportation; the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs; the U.S. Department of Agriculture; the School of Civil Engineering at Iowa State University; several Iowa construction companies, engineering companies, trucking companies, auto dealers, petroleum dealers, auto clubs, model railroad clubs, and numerous other companies, organizations and individuals who have already provided support over the past several years. He also singled out for special recognition Grinnell Mayor Gordon Canfield, the City Council of Grinnell and City Manager Russ Behrens for their continuing support of this exciting new program.

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