Artist rendering of museum expansion in Dayton, Ohio.
By Col. (Ret.) Richard Johnson
Air Force Museum Foundation
DAYTON, Ohio -- The Air Force Museum Foundation, Inc. has accepted a $10 million pledge from the Lockheed Martin Corp. to help construct a new 200,000 square-foot building to house the Museum's Space Gallery, Presidential Aircraft Gallery, and Global Reach Gallery featuring cargo and tanker aircraft. The facility will provide educational opportunities in collaboration with a variety of other educational organizations and institutions focusing on history, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics-based (STEM) programs.
Charles Faruki, Chairman of the Air Force Museum Foundation Board of Managers, expressed his gratitude on behalf of the Foundation.
"We are grateful to Lockheed Martin for its generous gift of $10 million," said Faruki. "Lockheed Martin has been a longtime supporter of the National Museum of the United States Air Force, and this contribution is the largest pledge we have ever received in support of the Museum. The new addition will significantly enhance the Museum's ability to tell the full Air Force story and will be a platform to increase the education of students and teachers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics."
The Air Force Museum Foundation already has approved the release of $750,000 for the Army Corps of Engineers to fund part of the design process and accomplish ground-testing for the fourth building. Preliminary work will include geotechnical and ground studies, which are scheduled to be completed this spring. The building is estimated to cost $47 million. Current plans call for the construction to begin in late 2012 and the building to open in 2014.
Ron Rand, senior vice president, communications for Lockheed Martin Corp., said the donation will be made in 10 installments over the next 10 years and presented the first installment in late May during an Air Force Museum Foundation Board meeting at the Museum.
"We are proud to support the Air Force Museum Foundation's efforts to enhance the National Museum of the United States Air Force by this contribution," said Rand. "The new facility will be a great place to educate and inspire tomorrow's scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and aviators. We believe it will help answer President Obama's call to 'win the future' by out-innovating, out-educating, and out-building the rest of the world."
Including Lockheed Martin's gift, the Foundation now has $34 million available in cash and pledges for the construction project.
The Air Force Museum Foundation Inc. was established in 1960 as a philanthropic, non-profit organization to assist the Air Force in the development and expansion of the facilities of the National Museum of the United States Air Force and to undertake and advance programs and activities supporting the Museum. For more information on the Air Force Museum Foundation, visit www.airforcemuseum.com.
The National Museum of the United States Air Force, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, is the service's national institution for preserving and presenting the Air Force story. Each year, more than one million and a quarter visitors come to the Museum to learn about the mission, history and evolving capabilities of America's Air Force. For more information on the museum, visit www.nationalmuseum.af.mil.
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