Armstrong Museum to break ground

WAPAKONETA — The Armstrong Air & Space Museum will host a groundbreaking ceremony, Friday, July 20, at 1 p.m., to launch the museum’s upcoming expansion.

The expansion features a classroom with updated technology that can seat more than 50 students. The new classroom will double the museum’s current classroom capacity, as well as expand program offerings for older students with its high school science classroom-style layout. Additional space inside the classroom promotes digital outreach, where educators will film programs that students may access online from any location.

“We will have the advantage of implementing STEAM-focused lessons while expanding the museum’s footprint across the nation,” said Director of Education Christopher Moynihan. The classroom will also serve as a multipurpose meeting room for programming and lectures.

Additionally, the expansion will include some updated exhibits on the north side of the museum, including the addition of the F5D Skylancer cockpit; a new HVAC system; updated infrastructure and concrete repairs to the existing building.

The museum is working in conjunction with Ohio History Connection and architects Garmann Miller to complete this phase of the expansion by July 2019 in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. The Armstrong Air & Space Museum and Ohio History Connection will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s famous walk on the moon next year.

“The Armstrong Air & Space Museum showcases Ohio’s contribution to our nation’s aeronautical history,” said Burt Logan, Ohio History Connection executive director & CEO. “With the new addition coming on the anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s famous moonwalk, it will be the perfect time to share even more of this history with Ohioans.”

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8445 of Wapakoneta will start the groundbreaking program with the presentation of colors. Speakers include Astronaut Robert Springer; Mark Armstrong, son of Neil Armstrong; and Jackie Barton, director of Historic Sites & Facilities of the Ohio History Connection. Dan Graf, first vice president of the Armstrong Air & Space Association, will speak about the history of the museum and Armstrong Air & Space Museum Curator Brittany Venturella will expand on what the new addition means for the museum’s future.

Refreshments will be provided. The event is free and open to the public.