WEATHERFORD, Okla. – The Stafford Air & Space Museum has announced plans to kick-off a major fundraising campaign to expand the museum by over 18,000 square feet. The expansion would increase the footprint of the facility to nearly 60,000 square feet.
Funds from the “Legacy Campaign” will be used to make significant exhibit and artifact additions, along with extensive exterior and interior renovations to the existing building.
The expansion will also allow the needed space for numerous priceless artifacts to be displayed such as NASA’s Fixed-Base Shuttle simulator that was used for the primary training of all 135 astronaut crews who flew the Shuttle, and a set of actual fragments of the “Wright Flyer” – the world’s first successful aircraft – that were carried to the moon by astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first human to walk on the moon.
The campaign will further upgrade the museum with various immersive, interactive, and hi-tech exhibits to bring aerospace history, and the museum’s extensive artifact collection, to life.
It will also increase the available space for events, temporary exhibits, and the museum’s gift shop, as well as a facility to restore important artifacts, such as a Fairchild-Republic A-10 “Warthog” aircraft, and a cockpit of a Boeing B-52 “Stratofortress” currently awaiting preservation and restoration.
The projects kicks off the museum’s 25th anniversary in 2018, with plans to have the shell of the expansion completed in time to host the Apollo 10 50th anniversary in May 2019.
With an initial campaign goal of $3 million, Jeff DeFehr, the Foundation’s Building Campaign Chairman, announced that more than $1.4 million has already been pledged.
“DeFehr appeared before the Weatherford City Commission to ask for approval to expand the City-owned museum, and to grant a short-term option to lease the city property to the Foundation for construction,” a press release stated.
One the expansion is completed, the lease agreement will be terminated, and the new addition will be turned over to the City of Weatherford as a gift from the museum’s Foundation that was “created for the sole purpose of supporting the future development of the Stafford Museum.”
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