Master plan unveiled that will bring USS Yorktown to life

      Part of the master plan for the USS Yorktown (Josh Braunreuther/WCIV)

      By Sonya

      MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) - A master plan was unveiled Friday at Patriots Point that will bring the USS Yorktown into the 21st century.

      "We know that with the new audience today, especially those young people that are technologically astute and driven, that we have got to make this museum in a way that will attract them here," said Mac Burdette, Patriots Point Executive Director.

      It will be the first transformation of its kind for the museum. The goal is to bring the ship to life using technology.

      "We are going to tell the same stories of our sailors and our airmen and our mission has not changed, but the delivery system is going to be all together different," said Burdette.

      But this isn't something that is planned overnight, Matt Kirchman at MUSAIC has been working on it for the past year. His company has big plans for making the attraction even more enticing than it is now -- all while keeping the ship's authenticity.

      "The aircraft that are on the hangar deck might be a little more randomly placed, augment those displays with life cast figures of the crew, projections that show things in action. We can imagine whistles going off and announcements being made, the projected shadows of men in full gear running up those stairways making their way to the flight deck, things like that," said Matt Kirchman, MUSAIC's principal planner.

      Most of the additions should be completed within three to five years, funding permitting. Of course, getting the money is another obstacle that Patriots Point will have to overcome.

      "There is what you have and what you would like to have and of course we are expecting a hoping that this will bring a lot of interest from businesses and people who have a military and naval legacy to support these exhibits," said Susan Marlowe, Chairman of Education & Museum Service Committee.

      This technology upgrade could cost around $4 million, but those involved believe it's necessary for the future of the museum.

      "We are trying to set the tone for the next 50 years," said Burdette. "This is a living, breathing master plan that should be added on to forever otherwise we find ourselves right back where we were after this next five years."

      Burdette says he hopes these changes can generate another $1.2 million in ticket sales by 2016, which is about 40,000 more tickets a year. He also says they don't plan on raising ticket prices.