NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) — A plan to build a Coast Guard museum in New London could begin preliminary construction this summer after receiving a boost from the federal government.
An omnibus bill passed by the House last week contains $50 million for the museum, bringing the total federal investment to $70 million, according to Democratic U.S. Senator Chris Murphy.
“This project will not only create hundreds of jobs and inject millions into the local economy each year, but will also inspire the next generation to serve,” Murphy said in a statement. “The Coast Guard is the only long-serving branch of the armed forces without a national museum. We owe it to the brave men and women of the Coast Guard – past, present and future – to finally make the museum a reality.
Wes Pulver, chairman of the National Coast Guard Museum Association, told New London City Council that $81 million had been raised of a target of $150 million, and that the federal dollars would allow demolition work to begin as soon as possible. July, WTNH-TV reported.
London’s new mayor, Michael Passero, called the passage of the bill “absolute good news” for the city.
“It will put us on the map as having a major tourist attraction right here in downtown New London,” he said.
The 80,000-square-foot, 5-story museum is expected to offer more than 200 galleries and exhibits, a state-of-the-art simulator and virtual reality experiences, and interactive STEM learning programs, according to the museum association’s website.
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