Coast Guard Museum Gets Boost To Begin Summer Construction

NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) — A project to build a Coast Guard museum in New London could begin preliminary construction this summer after getting a boost from the federal government.

An omnibus bill passed by the House last week contains $50 million for the museum, raising the total federal investment to $70 million, according to Democratic U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy.

“This project will not only create hundreds of jobs and annually pump millions into the local economy, but also inspire the next generation to serve,” Murphy said in a statement. “The Coast Guard is the only long-standing branch of the armed services 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, president of the National Coast Guard Museum Association, told the New London city council that $81 million had been raised out of a goal of $150 million, and that the federal dollars would allow demolition work to begin as early as July, WTNH-TV reported.

New London Mayor Michael Passero called the passage of the bill “absolutely great news” for the city.

“This 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 planned to offer more than 200 galleries and exhibits, 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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