Southwest Florida Military Museum & Library closing in Cape Coral

Charles Runnells
 
| Fort Myers News-Press

After 11 years, the Southwest Florida Military Museum & Library will close its doors Wednesday in Cape Coral.

“It’s just the end of the road,” said founder and CEO Ralph Santillo. “That’s it.”

The closure comes after a financial dispute with the museum’s former business partner, which owns the building and had wanted the museum to pay $5,000 a month in rent, which would go up to $8,000 next year. Until recently, the museum wasn’t required to pay rent at all.

The other option: Buy the building for $1.8 million — money the museum’s leaders say they don’t have.

Santillo and the museum’s board of directors tried raising the money earlier this year, but only received about $6,500 through a GoFundMe page and other donations.

“It was never enough to really make a dent,” Santillo said. “We had to really face reality that we’re

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