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Groundbreaking for Fourth Building at Air Force Museum
RIVERSIDE-- Some of the country's top Air Force leaders were in Riverside today. They celebrated the official groundbreaking of the multimillion dollar expansion project of the National Museum of the Air Force. The project will house four new galleries.
"We're very excited to get this equipment moving and start the construction process," said Kyle Rooney of Turner Construction Co., who will build the project.
In attendance at the groundbreaking ceremony, United States Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James.
"When you come right down to it," James said, "Living the Air Force legacy is really what this Air Force museum is all about. Bringing the legacies to life for our airmen and people around the globe."
It's taken years of planning and fundraising to the tune of $35.4 million to make the vision a reality. When it's done the building will look just like the the hangars that currently house the museum.
The project has a footprint of 300,000 square feet, larger than three football fields.
It will be the home of presidential aircraft, including President John F. Kennedy's Air Force One. It will also house an expanded space gallery, global reach projects, and research and design.
"Right now we don't have a way to tell those stories to the public in the way we should," said Retired Lieutenant General Jack Hudson, the Museum Director.
Turner Construction Company won the bid for the build in December, but at the groundbreaking today said they plan for the majority of the workforce to come from the Dayton area.
The expansion will be paid for entirely through private donations to the museum foundation.
"It's the history of the freedom of our country," said Rooney, "And it's a great opportunity for people like me and for people all over the country to bring their children to learn about the defense that our company has provided to keep us a free country."
Construction is expected to wrap in late summer of 2015. The galleries are expected to open to the public in 2016.
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