COLUMBUS, Ohio— The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force’s new building will boost tourism in Ohio and help citizens learn about their aviation heritage, the head of a group promoting the new building told a state committee.
C. D. Moore, Lt. Gen. USAF (ret.), addressed the Ohio Aerospace and Aviation Technology Committee as chair of the Grand Opening Regional Working Group on Wednesday, May 11. Representing regional heritage, tourism and economic development organizations, the working group supports the National Museum’s efforts to promote its newest addition. The 224,000 square foot building is scheduled to open on Wednesday, June 8, with a Grand Opening Weekend of special activities scheduled for June 11-12.
Moore, who also serves as a trustee of the National Aviation Heritage Alliance (NAHA) and the Air Force Museum Foundation, told committee members the new building was financed with $40.8 million in private donations raised by the foundation. No federal tax dollars were spent on its construction, he said. “We should be very proud as a state and a region that we were able to raise that amount of money,” he said.
While the new building is expected to draw more people to the museum, the working group is also promoting it as a tourism magnet for the region and state. “We want (visitors) to stick around and do other things,” he said.
The new building’s four galleries of iconic aircraft—such as SAM26000, “Air Force One” to eight presidents—will also help connect Ohioans with their aviation heritage, Moore said. Each gallery also has a STEM “learning node” for educational programs, designed to fit the gallery themes of presidential, research and development, space and global reach.