Since its humble beginning in 2010, the VVAC has been turning big ideas into reality. At this moment, it is an organization poised for a monumental transformation. Our vision is ambitious, but it is attainable if we use the full measure of our capacity and our imagination.
Land acquisition ($1.37 million) at 330 N. Homestead Parkway, Camp Verde - COMPLETED
Native American Traditional Use Garden ($25,000) - COMPLETED
Installation of Water Line to Property ($97,000) - COMPLETED
Native American Heritage Pathway ($30,000)- COMPLETED
Next Step - New Museum and Collection Center
The Board of Directors of the Verde Valley Archaeology Center (VVAC) released a Letter of Intent to purchase the former Verde Valley Medical Center (VVMC) clinic building at 460 Finnie Flat Rd, Camp Verde, in the Verde Village shopping area. The 1.2-acre property includes the building plus parking for 50 cars. The offer has been accepted by the building owners.
Click HERE to see the new campus building.
For those who have been following the Verde Valley Archaeology Center since its inception in 2010, this is a major change of direction. In 2015, Scott Simonton donated 15.28 acres of land along Homestead Parkway in Camp Verde. The property is the site of a prehistoric village dating back to 650 AD. The Center is preserving the site and has developed a loop trail of almost a half-mile through the prehistoric village, with interpretive signs along the route. In addition, a Native American Traditional Use Garden has been developed. The trail and garden area will continue to be maintained by the VVAC for public use.
The VVAC has outgrown its current location at 385 S. Main St., and is in desperate need of more space. The Center had planned to build a new archaeology campus on the Homestead Parkway property. Absent significant donations to make this a reality, the VVAC turned to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for a Rural Economic Development community facilities loan of nearly $5 million. The lengthy application process began in March 2019. In February 2020, the process was nearing completion and a decision was expected soon. However, the COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to the application process for almost eight months.
One of the realities of the pandemic was that museums across the country were forced to close for six to nine months. If any have reopened, it has been on a very limited and restricted basis. Since museum admission was anticipated to be a major source of funding to repay the loan, the USDA hesitated to provide the full funding requested by the VVAC. The VVAC Board of Directors came to a similar realization and began to look for a less costly alternative.
Alternative building construction plans were proposed and reviewed, however, cost estimates still came in over $3 million and, with the current building-boom, would take about two years to complete. A more immediate solution presented itself with an offer for the former VVMC building. This space is almost 11,000 sq. ft., more than three-times the Center’s current 3,300 sq. ft. building.
Ways to Help
Many members have already stepped forward to help get us to where we are today.