Air Zoo unveils expansion plan

Thanks to a grant, the Air Zoo is expanding with a 50,000-square-foot exhibit hall addition to its Main Campus beginning this month.

The addition will provide space for new and current exhibits, aircraft, a 4,000-square-foot archive and an expanded library. Construction is estimated to be completed in mid-2011.

The extension is part of an expansion plan that was developed four years ago to relocate the Michigan Space Science Center and the World War II naval aviation exhibits, which are currently housed at the East Campus, to the Main Campus. It will also allow for the expansion and relocation of the Restoration Center to the East Campus, where visitors can view and participate in the restoration process.

The grant allows for the construction of the addition and exhibit space. However, additional support is needed for exhibits, programming for school groups and community events, Air Zoo officials said.

“Each year, visitors from all 50 states and many foreign countries travel to the Air Zoo to experience the unique attractions and aircraft collection,” said Bob Ellis, Air Zoo president and CEO. “Support from foundations, corporations and individuals makes this experience possible.”

Due to expansion and relocation plans, the East Campus will close to the public on Jan. 1, 2011. The Air Zoo will continue offering free general admission with the option to purchase wristband packages or individual tickets to experience rides and attractions.

For more information: 269-382-6555 or AirZoo.org

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