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Staff Writer

DEVENS — The mission and integrity of the Fort Devens Museum remain intact, but financial concerns have necessitated some changes in operation and the search for a permanent home, according to a letter from Elbert Tomkins, president of the board of directors.

As had been reported last month, the museum’s executive director, Ian Meisner, resigned after four years of work collecting more than 5,000 artifacts and materials. He also created displays at the museum’s temporary home at 94 Jackson Road, Suite 305.

Meisner had come to accept that a vision for a permanent home for the museum was a long-term project, not a fund-raising effort that might be done quickly, said Tompkins. Meisner felt the use of a part-time director would increase availability of funds to renovate the museum’s proposed permanent home in the historic American Red Cross building at the intersection of Barnum and Jackson roads, he said.

Those renovations, including bringing the building up to code, have been placed at more than $1 million.

A planning committee has been working to transition into a new period of museum operation. Members include executive committee and board member John Ott.

The first task is to insure there are enough funds in place to continue the museum’s operation on a limited weekly schedule. The 94 Jackson Road temporary quarters will now be open to the public Tuesdays and Fridays,from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., using money from membership dues, special programs, gifts and donations, and continuing support from MassDevelopment, said Tomkins.

The museum will continue to acquire additions to its collection, create new displays and conduct talks about subjects relating to Camp and Fort Devens, and publish its newsletter under a new part-time director who will be introduced at the June 18 annual meeting, at 7 p.m., at 33 Andrews Parkway.

Meisner remains available for guidance and advice.

Tomkins said the board assures all contributors that money specifically contributed toward the fund for a permanent museum has been placed in an interest-bearing account at the North Central Massachusetts Community Foundation, where it is fully protected and dedicated to the goal.

The board of directors encourages friends and members to continue their support.

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