The Air Force Museum Foundation, Inc. has accepted a $10 million pledge from the Lockheed Martin Corp. The pledge, the single largest dollar gift the foundation has ever received, will be used to help build a new 200,000-square-foot building to house the museum’s Space Gallery, Presidential Aircraft Gallery, and Global Reach Gallery featuring cargo and tanker aircraft.
The facility will provide educational opportunities in collaboration with a variety of other educational organizations and institutions focusing on history, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics-based (STEM) programs, museum officials added.
Charles Faruki, chairman of the Air Force Museum Foundation Board of Managers, said: “We are grateful to Lockheed Martin for its generous gift of $10 million. Lockheed Martin has been a longtime supporter of the National Museum of the United States Air Force, and this contribution is the largest pledge we have ever received in support of the museum. The new addition will significantly enhance the museum’s ability to tell the full Air Force story and will be a platform to increase the education of students and teachers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”
The Air Force Museum Foundation already has approved the release of $750,000 for the Army Corps of Engineers to fund part of the design process and accomplish ground-testing for the fourth building. Preliminary work will include geotechnical and ground studies, which are scheduled to be completed this spring. The building is estimated to cost $47 million. Current plans call for the construction to begin in late 2012 and the building to open in 2014.
Ron Rand, Senior Vice President, Communications for Lockheed Martin, said the donation will be made in 10 installments over the next 10 years and presented the first installment Monday during an Air Force Museum Foundation Board meeting at the museum.
“We are proud to support the Air Force Museum Foundation’s efforts to enhance the National Museum of the United States Air Force by this contribution,” said Rand. “The new facility will be a great place to educate and inspire tomorrow’s scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and aviators. We believe it will help answer President Obama’s call to ‘win the future’ by out-innovating, out-educating, and out-building the rest of the world.”
Including Lockheed Martin’s gift, the foundation now has $34 million available in cash and pledges for the construction project.