New $20.4 Million Visitor Center at Punchbowl Memorial Planned
On Monday, Nov. 19, 2018, Sen. Brian Schatz announced that the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) and National Cemetery Administration (NCA) confirmed plans to construct a new $20.4 million interpretive center for visitors to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.
“This new center will give visitors a better understanding of World War II in the Pacific, Hawai‘i’s role, and the sacrifices that so many made for our country, including those whose final resting place is at Punchbowl,” said Sen. Schatz, lead Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs. “I look forward to working with the American Battle Monuments Commission and the National Cemetery Administration to ensure that the center’s exhibits convey the significant contributions that Hawai‘i’s veterans, including the Nisei veterans, made to the Pacific theatre.”
In 2011, ABMC and NCA began discussions on a new interpretive center for Punchbowl. However, those plans were put on hold due to a lack of dedicated funding. In the fiscal year 2019 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs appropriations bill, Senator Schatz secured an additional $28.9 million to support ABMC’s broad unfunded cemetery requirements. In addition to funding for the Punchbowl interpretive center, ABMC announced plans to obligate the appropriation to a new visitor center for the Netherlands American Cemetery and a critical irrigation system for the Manila American Cemetery.
The $20.4 million for the Punchbowl interpretive center includes costs to complete the interpretive center design, construction of the facility, design and fabrication of exhibits, as well as ABMC’s share of utility infrastructure and interior road improvements that will be cost-shared with NCA.