TROY, Ohio --
Ground breaking at WACO “Building On The Legacy” at the WACO Historical Society in Troy was held Tuesday for a new museum and learning center building, designed as a replica of the original WACO Aircraft Company service hangar.
The new replica building is part of the society’s plan to expand displays and showcase new collections, including a collection of artifacts from the Harzell Propeller Company, a sister aviation pioneer in Miami County.
The State of Ohio Cultural Facilities Commission recently released $530,000 in state funds to the society for the project that has been in the works since 1999.
Matching funds and support for the project were provided by The Troy Foundation, The Hartzell Norris Foundation, The WACO Stick & Rudder Club, The Paul G. Duke Foundation, WACO Historical Society members, business partners and other individual donors.
The State funds and donations will double the museum and learning center space and will be used to make improvements and modifications to the existing hangar, which will permit on-site restoration of vintage aircraft and provide classroom space for educational programs.
The project also will include driveway improvements to enhance accessibility in order to more efficiently handle bus tours and large groups.
“We are building on legacy on our rich aviation heritage that has brought together individuals from all parts of the greater Miami Valley and the country in an effort to preserve the artifacts and stories of early aviation pioneers and the workers who welded the frames, shaved the wood, and tightened the bolts, honored today more than ever,” commented WACO Historical Society Executive Director Karen Purke.
The WACO Historical Society, founded in 1978, operates Historic WACO Field, which includes a 2000-foot grass airstrip, and the WACO Air Museum, whose mission is to preserve the legacy of the WACO Aircraft Company and the “Golden Age of Flight," and to inspire individuals with an innovative museum and learning center programs.
The WACO Aircraft Company located in Troy from 1923-1958 was the largest producer of civilian and commercial airplanes in the United States and design manufacturer of combat gliders for the allied forces during World War II.
The museum will remain open on Saturdays and Sundays from 1-5 p.m. and Wednesday evenings from 6-8 p.m. during the renovation and new construction process.
For more information call (937) 335-9226 or visit www.wacoairmuseum.org.
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