PLATTSBURGH — The Battle of Plattsburgh Association Board of Directors has approved a plan to create a Plattsburgh Air Force Base Museum on property near the War of 1812 Museum.
Interested members of the public met two weeks ago to discuss the possibility, and they collectively agreed to bring a request forward to the Board of Directors.
The board unanimously agreed to the concept this week.
“The feeling was that this is a good idea to move forward with,” association President Keith Herkalo said of the positive response during the meeting.
“This will be good for the museum campus and good for bringing people into the area, a boost for tourism. There is a strong feeling that a perceived need is not being met” without a PAFB museum in the area.
With the board’s approval, Herkalo has already forwarded documents to the New York State Department of State for registering and filing. Once that happens, the organization can begin accepting donations for the PAFB Museum as a separate entity under the umbrella of the Battle of Plattsburgh Association.
“We’re under the same corporation, but it will be a separate operating unit,” Herkalo said.
He explained that the Base Museum will be able to utilize the accounting system already in place, but funds collected for that facility will remain separate from Battle of Plattsburgh Association moneys.
“The nice thing about this is that we can make use of the existing infrastructure as we get started and set our priorities,” he said.
SITE NEEDS UPDATE
The museum will be located in a building across the road from the War of 1812 Museum. Renovated several years ago as the initial home of the War of 1812 Museum, it will need only some basic upgrades now, including a new heating system.
The association also needs to renovate some unused space in its current museum that will be used for storing artifacts for the base project as they begin to come in, Herkalo noted.
“We’re going to need an estimated $25,000 to get started,” he said, citing a need for about $13,000 of renovations to both buildings and $11,000 to work on exhibit design.
If all moves forward smoothly, he believes the new PAFB Museum could be open as soon as next spring.
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An organizational meeting for the Plattsburgh Air Force Base museum will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 3, at the Press-Republican Theater in the War of 1812 Museum for anyone interested in participating in the formation of the museum or volunteering there.