By Alex Bridges
The Gateway to Shenandoah Visitor Center will stay at the Hupp's Hill Civil War Park in Strasburg after all.
Town Council members on Monday decided to not pursue a proposal to relocate the visitor center to a house on U.S. 11 at the intersection with Radio Station Road, which is currently available for rent.
The town currently operates the visitor center at Hupp's Hill Civil War Park jointly with the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation.
Town Manager Judson Rex said Tuesday that members reached the consensus to keep the center at its current site during the council finance committee meeting.
"The second point of direction was that we should look to sort of renegotiate our memorandum of understanding with the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation and explore ways that the town could get more involved in Hupp's Hill and the visitor center's space up there," Rex recalled.
At a previous meeting the infrastructure committee briefly touched on the location of the center, and while members did not make comments about the rental property, residents in the audience spoke favorably of the current site. Supporters said the location of the center at Hupp's Hill draws visitors to other parts of the site as well as to the Strasburg Museum downtown.
Rex has explained that the town indirectly spends approximately $6,000 a year upholding its part of an agreement with the foundation to maintain the visitor center site and surrounding area. The town does not pay the foundation to occupy space with the visitor center. Rex noted that Strasburg would need to cover any rent charged by the owner of the proposed site.
Mike Kehoe, president of the foundation's board, said Friday he had heard rumors the town may consider relocating the visitor center, but no official word on the possible move.
Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or firstname.lastname@example.org