WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Contributions played a major part in saving the Battleship North Carolina from a welder's torch and brought it to Wilmington in late 1961.
Now, another major fundraising campaign to keep the North Carolina afloat is well underway and has seen great success.
When the USS North Carolina was nudged into its current location across from downtown Wilmington, it came under an agreement the state has with the Navy to have regular repair work done on the vessel. But weather conditions have taken its toll on the ship.
Several years ago, some emergency hull repair work had to be done after several below deck compartments on her starboard side flooded. Nearly four years later, that repair work continues to keep that area free of water.
But it revealed that other parts of the ship's hull had become dangerously thin and a campaign was begun to raise money for a full hull repair project, along with construction of a memorial walkway.
"So to fund this project, we established a $17 million dollar goal, and today, I am proud to present that we are at $14.9 million of that $17 million dollar goal," said Battleship North Carolina Executive Director Terry Bragg. "All of the permits, all of the thermograph measuring of the water, all of the CAMA initiatives have been met, as well as the design of the cofferdam and walkway have been completed and approved by the state of North Carolina for construction."
Bids are now being taken for the upcoming work, and once they are awarded, Captain Bragg believes we will see the first phase of the project get cranked up in the next few months.