Claremore Daily Progress

April 6, 2014

State commits $346,200 for improvements

Staff Reports
Claremore Progress

CLAREMORE — The Oklahoma Legislature has approved funding for the Capital Improvements Plans and the Fiscal Year 2015 budget, as recommended by the Long Range Planning Commission. The budget includes $346,200 for building improvements for the J.M. Davis Arms and Historical Museum in Claremore.

“This is great news for the museum and for Claremore,” stated Executive Director, Wayne McCombs. “This June, the museum building will be 45 years old and it needs updating. These funds will keep the Davis Museum as a world class attraction for Oklahoma tourism.”

The J.M. Davis Arms and Historical Museum is the world's largest privately held arms museum with over 13,000 weapons and a total of 50,000 artifacts on display. In 1967, J.M. Davis leased his entire collection to the state of Oklahoma in exchange for the state to construct a building to display the collection and operate the museum.

The J.M. Davis Museum was one of 16 state agencies to receive funds under the Capital Improvements Plan. Out of the over 1,500 projects submitted for funding consideration, only one hundred projects were selected. The Davis museum received approval for three projects, including a new roof for the 40,000 square foot building.

State Representative Marty Quinn of Claremore and State Senator Sean Burrage of Claremore were instrumental in guiding the measure at the state capitol. “The funding represents a long term commitment by the state for this great Oklahoma treasure,” stated Burrage. Quinn said, “This is a significant maintenance project for a critical need at the museum. The new roof will help preserve the artifacts at the Davis Museum for the future.”

The Long Range Planning Commission was formed to review projects submitted by state agencies. Burrage appointed former state senator Charles Ford of Tulsa to the nine-member Commission, and Quinn appointed former state representative Tad Jones of Claremore.

“The establishment of the Long Range Planning Commission shows that the state considers its tourism buildings a major priority,” said Jones. “Prioritization of project requests was based on a combination of agency priority and critical maintenance issues.”

 “The team of Burrage and Quinn worked tirelessly on this funding for the museum,” said McCombs. “They worked with the committee and other legislators to be sure the Davis Museum's needs were reviewed and considered.”

McCombs estimates that the work on the museum's roof and other interior projects will begin late this summer.

The J.M. Davis Arms and Historical Museum is open everyday and is located in downtown Claremoreat 5th street and J.M. Davis Blvd.